Friday, April 26, 2013

Seeing the tide come in

The closer it gets to Matt's birthday, the higher the grief waters rise. Grief has two M.O.'s, ambush or rising tide. Both devastate. Both suck. Both leave one gasping for air.

I am struggling to keep my footing amid the rising waters. Thankfully, I've learned what works for me, and that's worship and praise music. The truthful lyrics are my life jacket to the swirling, rising waters around me. I must put the music on. Absolutely must. If I don't, my mind immediately goes to where it shouldn't; the accident, the what-ifs, the if-onlys. It ends up becoming all about me, all about my loss. Yet Christ calls us to be mindful of Him. We are, as His children, called to remember what He has done for us. When I turn my thoughts instead to what He has done for me and to who He is, then the tide waters recede and are kept in check.

I will not get through this valley of grief by myself. Neither does anyone else. They are lying to themselves if they think otherwise. There is a helper. It is the LORD GOD Himself, through the person of Jesus Christ who is "the way, the truth, and the life." Do you have the Truth?

Are You Talking to Yourself
 Thursday, April 25

Our Journey - James MacDonald

Are You Talking To Yourself

5Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and Hermon, from Mount Mizar. —Psalm 42:5-6

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones said:

“The main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter.

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

He is correct. Talking to yourself and not the other way around is what the psalmist is advocating. When we start listening to what our heart says, we will find ourselves cast down and in turmoil. That thinking leads to dismay, discouragement, and doubt.

We must tell ourselves to place our hope in God and not in the things of this world, or in the circumstances of life. Often, we use the word hope but the type of hope we are accustomed to is not biblical hope. Biblical hope is not a fleeting hope (I hope the Cubs win the World Series), or a wishing hope (I hope I get the new job), but a fixed hope, a certain hope. When we hope in God, our hope is certain because of who God is. He cannot lie. He does not abandon His children. He always does what is best. We don’t hope in financial success, family success, anyone or anything but God because He alone is our salvation and God.

Here are some practical ways to talk to ourselves throughout the week:

1.)   Re-read sermon notes from church, and work on one point of application.

2.)   Make sticky notes with Psalm 42:5–6 and post them everywhere as a way of remembering this truth.

3.)   Spend time in the Word every day. How can we tell ourselves who God is if we don’t know how He describes Himself?

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, (because I am listening to myself), and why are you in turmoil within me? (because I am believing lies), Hope in God; (that is what I am supposed to do, why?), for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Because He is the only One who is always faithful and the One who is worthy of my steadfast hope.

  • What are the situations/sin issues plaguing me right now?

  • What is the truth I should tell myself about these issues? 

Father, I thank You for Your patience with me. I so easily close my ears to Your voice and listen to the voice of my circumstances, others who are not your children, and the voice of the Accuser. When I do this I put my soul in turmoil. Help me to speak truth to myself daily. From the moment I wake to the moment I lay my head down to rest, may I place all of my hope in You alone.

In Jesus’ name,



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