Despondency is defined as being downcast or disheartened; lacking hope or courage; feeling dejected (Collins English Dictionary). Maybe this describes how you’re feeling; today’s verse seems out of your reach, and actually only relevant to other people. You’re starting to believe that praying and trusting the Lord makes no difference in your life and situation anymore. It’s as if you have ‘heard it all’ and encouragement from others has no impact – it’s just words.
Different situations can bring you to a place of despondency. Often, it’s an ongoing situation that seems to stretch over years; one that you’ve trusted the Lord for, and sought His Will in. Every now and then hope shines and you hold on to each little bit and trust that the breakthrough is near. But it just never comes, and you find yourself back to square one, no matter what.
One of the first things to do, if you’re in a place such as this, is to share your heart and thoughts with the Lord. Just bring it all to Him and be honest about how you’re feeling. We often keep it all bottled up, because we feel guilty, ashamed or even too weak. Then it becomes more of a burden every day.
When these thoughts and feelings bring guilt and shame, you can beat yourself up for becoming despondent, and for not trusting the Lord in your situation. We’ve all met people who constantly say how guilty they feel for doing, or not doing, something, for a wrong decision, for not praying enough, or for not spending enough time reading the Word. There are countless examples. What they aren’t realising is that guilt is actually becoming the motivation behind everything they do or say.
This isn’t the Lord’s way. He never condemns. He’ll gently convict us of areas in our lives that need to come in line with His will, but He isn’t the reason for our guilt. This is the enemy’s way of drawing us away from God’s truth and directing our focus on to ourselves. The Lord longs for us to look to Him as we read in today’s verse. He longs to be the One to direct us and fill us with His peace.
The moment we recognise the enemy’s tactics, we see the Lord in our situation. We see the despondency for what it is, and the veil of confusion and guilt lifts. ‘Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace (that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour) with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]’ (Hebrews 4:16, AMP).
Prayer: Dear Lord, I come to You today, and bring all my feelings before You, feelings of hopelessness and despair. You know the situation I’m in, and why I’m feeling the way I am. Thank You for loving me as I am, and for never giving up on me. Please renew my hope in You, and help me to discern between Your truth and the lies of the enemy. Thank You that there’s always hope, restoration and victory in You. Amen.
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