“Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:13-14
Like Aseph, when I am struggling with bouts of discouragement it is very easy and, maybe even natural, to project the current troubles forward. Pain and problems have a way of eroding my attitude and causing me to think negatively. And the longer the trouble lasts the easier it is to begin assuming that it will continue. That feeds the discouragement.
I don’t know that the trouble will continue. There really is no way to know. But the pain and the panic and the problems can cause me to feel like they will never end or even get worse. That negative speculation regarding the future serves to deepen the anxiety and prompts negative or even fatalistic thoughts about tomorrow. Losing hope about tomorrow makes me more susceptible to adding to my discouragement.
So what do I do when I am already discouraged and my prognosis looks bleak? How should I respond when God seems deaf to my pleas for some relief and the heavens seem like brass?
I can continue to speculate about how bad it could be going forward OR I could go back and begin remembering the good things God has done for me in the past. That is what Aseph did. He did not give in to speculation but remembered that God is good even when times are bad and life is painful. I like that idea! That seems like a very good plan for battling discouragement.
So, I won’t speculate, rather retreat mentally to some of my favorite times with God when His goodness was obvious and His power was on display. When I don’t understand what God is up to I choose to focus on what I DO know about Him and what He has done and what He is still able to do! I choose certainty over speculation.
I am certain that God is holy and that He is love and that He is powerful and He is righteous and He is good. I am certain that He loves me and has good plans for my future. I am certain that He is able to make all things work together for my good – even the painful things.
To work your way through a bout of discouragement, don’t speculate about what MIGHT happen. Rather choose to meditate on what you know for sure about God! When you are not sure what might happen focus on what you know - HE is in control.
CERTAINTY, NOT SPECULATION!