Focus: Choosing thankfulness and joy
Psalm 69:29-33 NIV)
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—may your salvation, God, protect me. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. The poor will see and be glad—you who seek God, may your hearts live! The LORD hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.
What you have is affliction and pain. What you desperately need is joy. But, how can there be joy when all around you is such a wasteland? Remember, God made man and woman out of the dust of the ground. He didn’t need anything more than common dirt to create human life. If it seems there is nothing left to work with—that’s okay, because it’s not about your ability or resources. It’s about God…and He has it all.
When you are afflicted and in pain—everything is upside down. So, to figure out how to focus on thankfulness and joy—try looking at the opposite, which could possibly be resentment and sorrow. Resentment has a twin named defensive. Although they’re not identical, they go hand in hand. They are very closely related to affliction, which almost always produces sorrow.
If you had an agonizing open wound and some well-meaning person—even a doctor–tried to touch it, it would be natural for you to resist and resent any probing to that painful area. As hard as it is to submit yourself to the healer’s hands—it is, after all, the path to wholeness. Once we show him where it hurts and let him touch it—he begins the work of transformation.
A lot of Bible scripture is like “code”. If you aren’t looking for hidden meaning and deep truth, it’s easy to read right over an answer you’d really like to find—that missing link, or the important clue that leads to lost treasure.
Let’s look at the verses above again. When you read them this time, try looking for three things: a problem, a goal, and a solution. The problem is pretty obvious: affliction and pain. The goal: salvation, protection, gladness, and life. The solution: choosing thankfulness and sacrificially praising God with a song, which amazingly produces a wall of protection and joy. Choosing thankfulness and the song of praise would be the same as selecting a golden key that unlocks a treasure box.
I recall times of depression in my own life that were so extreme, I was unable to sing. At those times I practically lived with earphones piping Christian music into my brain. To me, it was as important as being hooked up to an IV. I needed intensive care against negative, suicidal thoughts. The music and the message it brought, became literal salvation and protection. It eventually helped lead me to gladness and new life.
If you aren’t able to sing at this point, find a way to plug yourself into some positive Christian music that will begin to bring healing to your wounded heart. The good news is that God doesn’t despise the one who has been a captive to depression or addiction. If that is the only thing you can find to thank Him for, start there. He holds the golden key. He is offering it to you…reach out and take it.
Declaration: I am thankful that God has not abandoned me. I will find ways to offer him a joyful song–whether it is by singing or listening to good Christian music.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.