“Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, from Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer.” Psalm 42:5-8 (MSG)


If you have ever spoken to a group of people and felt like it was a flop, you know the feelings of defeat that can come. Instead of looking at the situation and learning something from it, it can be easy to beat yourself up in your mind about it.  If we talk to ourselves very long about it, we can almost talk ourselves out of ever speaking in front of people again.  The feelings of discouragement, defeat, and even disappointment can knock us down.

The psalmist understood that there would be moments of discouragement.  There would be moments when they would hit rock bottom mentally and emotionally. Yet, their strategy took them from gloom to joy. The psalmist began rehearsing the goodness of God, His faithfulness, and His provision. When we focus on God instead of the situation in front of us, our perspective begins to change.  Yet, the ability to shift our focus in times of despair does not come easy. What do you do when you are discouraged, defeated, or disheartened?  It can be easy for our mind to continually dwell on the moments of disappointment and defeat.  It can be like a movie reel that won’t turn off. However, when we allow our mind to dwell there for periods of time, it begins to affect our view of life, our resolve, and our ability to trust God. The enemy can use our mind as a battleground to keep us from following God full-on. Our mind and thoughts have to be trained to turn to God during these moments.  As you begin to rehearse who God is and how He has helped you in the past, faith begins to rise in your heart that He is going to continue to be with you and help you.  Next time, instead of letting your mind chase thoughts of defeat, begin to praise God and turn your thoughts toward Him.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.