Focus: Living in the presence of God
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Being in a condition of depression and dependency is something like having your eyes covered with a blindfold. What you are feeling is real to you. It isn’t some imaginary trip. One of the hardest things about it is having the ability to see your own progress. Sometimes, you struggle to see the light of day. Putting one foot in front of the other requires true effort. At times, you want to just huddle down and stay under the covers. The problem with that is—you can only stay in bed so long before you begin to feel pain from that, too. Your joints hurt and your head aches. Your body wasn’t meant to be in a horizontal position for long periods of time. It hurts to get up and it hurts to stay down. So what is the answer? You can’t stay in limbo.
If this describes the kind of day you’re having today—try to take just a baby step—even if it hurts. Whisper the Name of, ‘Jesus’. Even mouth the words of a song. These are things that are precious to the heart of God. Any attempt to press your hand into His will bring a positive response from Him.
You are on the path of life. Some days will be harder than others. Even the great saints struggled periodically. Think of it like the weather. Some days are gray—but they are not all gray. If a dark day comes along, just remember that tomorrow is another day. Take whatever steps you can and make any progress possible.
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I believe the words David wrote in Psalm 16, were a statement of faith. The context of verse 11 alludes to the fact that David was leaning hard into God as his refuge. It seems that others around him were taking steps toward false gods. It’s likely David was in a place of physical challenge when he wrote this psalm. He refers to the fact that in the flesh there might have been reasons for him to feel insecure about his own safety. He was at a place where he knew his only possible hope was in the Lord. Through an act of his own will David begins to remind himself of God’s faithfulness to him in the past. He praises God for the counsel he receives continually. He makes declaration of receiving his instruction from the Lord in the night—even though it is quite possible he wasn’t feeling these things at the time. Nevertheless he was reminding himself of God’s ability to give him counsel and instruction when things looked impossible. David knew from experience that the most important thing he could do at a place of such extreme challenge would be to keep his eyes steady on God.
David chose to be glad and rejoice. It wasn’t the natural thing for him to feel or do in his present conditions.
David chose the right thing. He could have looked at his circumstances and gone further into a pit of darkness. Present circumstances are always temporary.
Every single step we take on the path of life is a choice. We must consciously choose to move toward the presence of God. We must choose to keep His hand in ours. God is willing for us to move in His direction—it is we who must make the choice to do so. As we make even a tiny step—the weight of our condition lifts ever so slightly. As we reach our hand toward His and make that important contact—we are rewarded with ability to grasp onto Him and receive the strength we need to make the next step.
There is joy to be had and eternal pleasures—as hard as that may seem to believe today. Your faith is secure. You have not been abandoned. The path is lighter just ahead. Keep your hand in His—He knows the way and He is able to lead you when you can’t see it on your own. This is just one day of the journey. They will not all be overcast.
Let your mind go to a time of victory when you felt stronger. Encourage yourself as David did. According to the Word of God, you are moving toward joy. Remind your mind that you are heading in the direction of everlasting pleasure.
Declaration: I will find new strength today by remembering that this is only one day of the journey. This darkness is temporary. As I keep putting one foot in front of the other and hold onto God—I will keep moving forward. By choosing to stay in the presence of God—my joy will be renewed. I will move toward the everlasting pleasure God has promised me. I will not turn back.
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For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, https://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/playlists?sort=dd&view=1
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.
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