“My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you…”
Even in our dark hours, God has given us the ability to choose. The psalmist was enduring a time of isolation from God and the places he loved. He was far from Jerusalem and the tabernacle, which was God’s dwelling place. He was in the North of Israel at Mount Hermon, which was as far north in Israel as you could go. He was longing for God. “Where can I go to meet with God?” he asked. He was oppressed by people: “Men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” He endured the questions of the unbelieving, yet he couldn’t really answer their accusations, for God at this point did not seem active in his interests. The psalmist was isolated from his people. He had once led the joyful procession of worshippers, but now he was alone.
The experience of isolation brings deep grief to one’s heart. The writer was isolated from God, from the things he loved, from the favor of his people, and from his home. He became very discouraged. Yet in his time of a downcast heart, he realized that his discouragement had not eliminated his power to set the agenda for his thoughts. He chose to remember the Lord in his time of discouragement and isolation.
Is there a sense of discouragement clouding your soul? Remember you have not lost your ability to choose what dominates your thinking. You are the gatekeeper of your mind. Remember the Lord from your place of isolation and hope in him.
1. What factors in your life are causing you a sense of discouragement?
2. How has this affected your mindset about your life?
3. What is one aspect of God that can give you a sense of comfort?
Prayer starter: Lord, help me apply the medicine of memory to my downcast heart.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.