It doesn’t matter how many devotionals I write, how many songs I record, how many people I lead to Christ—fear and despair are enemies that are always at the door. To keep them at bay, I must keep my relationship with God at the center of all I do. My flesh is no better than the day I was born again. My enemies [the devil, my flesh and the world] look for every opportunity to overcome me with discouragement. This was my experience last weekend. On Friday afternoon, I received some very discouraging news. Then I was sick for most of the weekend. So by Sunday I was fighting feelings of despair and hopelessness. I needed God to revive me but I was too discouraged to make it happen. Without hope we have no reason to get out of bed.
This is where the daily discipline of reading God’s Word kicked-in to build back my hope.
The enemies of my soul are so good at flinging me in the pit of despair that I desperately needed hope. I needed to refresh my mind in the power of God’s Word. One of my favorite sources is Psalms 119, where the author does not hide his own desperate need for God:
“My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your Word.”Psalms 119:25
“My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word.”Psalms 119:28
When I feel like my soul is clinging to dust and melting from heaviness, I know God has the remedy in His Word. The Psalmist is transparent in his need and he is forthcoming with the sure-fire remedy—God’s Word. Psalms 119 give us hope. We can pray God’s Word back to Him [my prayers are in italics] and His Spirit will fill us with the hope of His eternal salvation:
“Remember the Word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope.”
Lord, You never change; Your Word is your bond; I praise You for You have given me the gift of eternal life!
“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your Word has given me life.”
Dear JESUS, You are the Word which came in flesh. You paid it all so I could have life from YOU—the light of the world! [John 1] Light up my present darkness.
“Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant.”
Your mercy is from everlasting to everlasting and You have forgiven me as far as the east is from the west; therefore, my soul will be glad with great rejoicing!
“My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your Word.”
Remind me, O Lord, of the great promises of Your salvation. When I wait for You to speak to me and allow Your presence to empower me, You renew my strength. In Your strength, I fly like an eagle, I run and do not grow weary; I walk and do not faint. (Isaiah 40:31]
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Lord, help me be faithful to read and memorize Your Word so the light within me shines brighter than the darkness around me.
“I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your Word.”
Lord Jesus, You are the Word. In Your presence there is great revival for my soul. May I desire Your Word more than I desire anything; and thus, in Your presence be reminded that my present affliction is a small matter for You.
“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word.”
Lord, Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You. (Psalms 119:11) Cleanse me by Your Word, so I am filled with the strong sense of Your presence which protects me from the enemies of my soul!Psalms 119:49-50, 74, 76, 81, 105, 107, 114
When we discipline ourselves to read and memorize God’s Word, it becomes a powerful tool to build hope—especially during affliction. The enemy wants to take your mind, steal your hope, and keep you discouraged. Thus, you must not be “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) When God’s Word rules in our mind and our thoughts, we have greater protection from the enemy.
God’s Word is the source of our most powerful thoughts!
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