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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - September 6

  • 2012 Sep 06
  • COMMENTS

Feeling Dejected and Abandoned?

For we . . . are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
-2 Corinthians 4:11 emphasis added

David had dark thoughts and uncontrolled emotions. He loved the Lord, but all the stress of his terrible plight had drained him of peace and joy. As we continue to study David's Psalm 13 confessions, perhaps you can identify with how deeply wounded he felt.

My mind seems so troubled: How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? (v. 2a, emphasis added). David was swept away by his emotions, which is a common experience. He couldn't calmly reflect on God's faithful hand in the past so that he could be comforted by trusting the future to Him. David had ruminated so long on disaster after disaster that he was feeding on the dark thoughts of hopelessness. So he cried out in anguish again, "God, I can't stop these feelings of dejection and abandonment!"

Usually, there are some clear causes for these feelings David confessed: emotional temperament, physical weakness, and "let down" are often at the root of discouragement. David was probably of the temperament that is more prone to discouragement. As Lloyd-Jones writes in the opening pages of his monumental book, "foremost among all causes of spiritual depression is temperament."

A weak time called "let down" often follows great events. For example, after Elijah's great mountaintop experience, he felt so low that he was ready to die. But God took him away to a quiet place to feed him, refresh him, and meet with him (1 Kings 18-19). It is helpful to remember that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours (James 5:17). Even Jesus retreated from the crowds after big events like the feeding of the 5,000 and preaching campaigns because He needed extra time alone with God to refresh and renew His life. Since Elijah, Jesus, and David all needed to exercise care to protect themselves from let downs, we should not be taken by surprise when we face similar experiences in our own lives.

David survived his cave times by choosing to live in hope, and not the pits. In verses Psalms 13:3-6, he looked to the Lord, who alone could rescue him: Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against him;" lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me (emphasis added).

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