What do you do when your heart is troubled? What do you do when things are falling down around you? Life can be very difficult. Things don’t go the way you want them to go. As a Christian, how should you deal with that?
“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all of my sins.”
The Psalmist, David, starts Psalm 25 with a request from God to “teach me your paths (verse 4).” What is it about following God that brings so much stress and conflict into our lives? I know some preachers promise that once you come to Jesus, everything will be sunshine and roses, but that hasn’t been the case in my walk with Christ.
In my walk, it seems that every time I get the least bit comfortable, some situation arises and it prods me out of my comfort zone. One minute everything is fine and the next, everything is falling apart and with seemingly little to no warning. Just boom. Everything is coming against me.
What I’ve found is that when I’m comfortable, I’m not growing. I’m not growing closer to God. I’m not growing spiritually. In order for me to grow, I have to get out of my comfort zone.
Getting out of your comfort zone is not pleasant. I picture it like the baby bird being kicked out of the nest in order to learn to fly. You are either going to fly or you are going to hit the ground with a THUD! When we are pushed out of our comfort zone, we have the same choice – fly or fall. More often than not, I fall. I fall into depression or loneliness or anxiety.
David and I have a lot in common. He says in verse 16 that he is lonely and afflicted. Basically he feels like he is being beat down and he has no one with him to lift him up. I don’t know about David, but I feel like this even when there are people around me, who may even be encouraging me. In some ways, it’s like my ears are shut to their encouragement. All I can hear is my loneliness.
“The troubles of my heart are enlarged,” says David. And I concur. When we are lonely and afflicted, it’s almost as if all of our troubles are much larger than they really are. They have grown. Our troubles seem larger than we are. What a terrible place to be!
What is the answer to these woes? What should we do when we find ourselves in such a place? Here are three steps:
1. First we make sure our eyes are pointed to Jesus. David says his are “ever toward the Lord.” Our eyes should be constantly fixated on the one who can deliver us.
2. We pray for God to turn to us (verse 16). David begs God to turn toward him. When God’s face shines upon us, we can face anything, even our loneliness and affliction.
3. We repent. David asks God to forgive his sins. Sometimes we are the cause of our affliction. Not always, but sometimes. We are very capable of being the culprit in our problems. In those times, repent.
David, like us, was struggling with loneliness and affliction and what did he do? He called upon God to rescue him! Too many times, I spend hours trying to rescue myself. Rather than calling upon Him to begin with, I foolishly try to map my own way out of my problems. Lord, I repent. Lord, I put my trust in you.
If you are reading this today, it is my prayer that you will do the same. That you will call upon God to rescue you. That you will stop trying to plan your own rescue and rely on Him to save you, even if its just saving you from yourself.