January 17, 2009
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation. Psalm 27:9
Many years ago, discouragement and depression were the constant companions of a young mid-western lawyer.
He fell into such deep emotional darkness that his friends thought it wise to keep all knives and razors from him.
When the future seemed most dim, he wrote, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not."
That man, Abraham Lincoln, did shake discouragement and was thrust into a position of power and authority. He, by God's grace and like Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrated this week, dedicated himself to improving the cause of others.
But that does not mean he was immune from discouragement.
I have no doubt that you have also experienced discouragement. Each of us has moments when things seem to fall apart around us. Nothing goes our way. Perhaps, thoughts of forcibly leaving this 'veil of tears' has entered our minds.
If that describes how you feel, it is time for the Holy Spirit to wipe out that discouragement.
Maybe counseling, maybe confession, and certainly a clear view of what the Lord has done for you will help.
Look around at the people who love you. See those who want to reach out to you. Count the Lord God among those who care. He, like others in your life, wishes to let you know that the pains you feel now are for a short time. Guaranteed. That's God's promise.
Because of Jesus the Savior, He moves us from despair to victory. Lincoln found that out, and I pray the Lord will let you know that truth as well.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, You are my shield. You lift my head when I feel down. I rejoice in the victory, which has been given to me in Jesus. In His Name I pray. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries