Three Helpful Practices for Hard Times
In case you didn’t realize it, characters in the Bible are real people. Take David, for instance. He’s about as raw and real as they get. If you thought he was just some epic, giant-slaying hero who was always courageous and never struggled with issues like loneliness or despair, you haven’t read the other chapters of his story.
David wrote 73 of the 150 Psalms and they give us a peak into a complicated heart. If you read his psalms kind of like posts to a journal, you will quickly see that his life wasn’t always a party, to say the least. Though he had an unrivaled passion for God, David was often blitzed by discouragement.
Psalm 142 is just one example among many, but it gives us the basic pattern for how David coped when he went through a rough patch.
1. He had frequent “venting” sessions with God. In his prayer time, David confided in the LORD as if He were his own personal Counselor. Notice how he begins:
With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him (v. 1-2)
2. He admitted how he felt to God, no matter how unimpressive it may have sounded. In verse 3, David dared to say something a man isn’t supposed to say: “I am overwhelmed.”
3. He always leaned hard on the unchanging goodness of God. David’s circumstances were so harsh they felt like prison, but his confidence in the God of all grace helped him to look forward to better days: “Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me” (v. 7, NLT).
Like David, folks like us are vulnerable to the “overwhelms.” It hits most of us from time to time. But the good news is that a sit-down session with the Counselor can give us a renewed outlook and help us to feel hopeful again. Just like it did for David.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” -Hebrews 4:16
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.