Thursday, January 15, 2015

Slipping into Discouragment

I lift up my eyes to the mountains--
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip--
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you--
The Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm--
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121: 1-8)

     Winter is here, and I have the feeling it will continue for quite some time. In Colorado, the streets and sidewalks are covered in snow. I try to jog outside but do so carefully, worried that I will slip and end up with an injury.

      I ponder how often I slip into sin or discouragement. In reading Psalm 121, I realize that God knows how easily I become discouraged. He is with me and will give me His comfort, His strength and His encouragement if I rely on Him. I don't look to the mountains for help. I look to the Lord who will keep my foot from slipping. He doesn't grow tired and weary as do I. No--He does not slumber but is always watching over me.  God has told you and me:

Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.
So say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." (Hebrews 13:5-6)

     When I feel like giving up or not addressing a problem, I must remember that I can lean on God. When I feel attacked by a situation over which I have no control, I must remember that God protects me from harm in these situations as well. The attack might come in the form of a physical ailment, or messages society tries to falsely feed me or a struggle within my own mind. God can protect me from both external and internal attacks. My God is like a strong eagle who covers me with His wings and protects me with His shield:

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4)

God is my foundation and stronghold:
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior. (2 Samuel 22:3)

God preserves me from evil. When I rely on Him, he keeps me from stumbling and getting into trouble:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when your are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13).

How fortunate we are that our God watches over our coming and going in the present and into eternity (v. 8). I am grateful for God's promises. I'm grateful, that although I might become discouraged or be tempted to slip into sin, God is with me. He cares about my concerns, and His presence gives me comfort and strength.

Dear Lord, I lift my eyes to You! You are the source of my help. When I trust in You, You keep me from slipping. You will help me not fall into discouragement. Thank you that You are with me in the present and will stay with me into eternity. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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