Apr 27, 2022 08:00am
Walking Through Grief-Part Two

Psalm 143 is a cry unto the Lord from the depths of a heart that is suffering. In this passage, note that twice David requests the Lord to deliver him from his enemies. Make a list of the enemies in your particular situation, things like isolation, depression, and even Satan himself. Once you can recognize these enemies, you will be more able to defend against them and ask God for assistance in battling them.

Notice in verse 11 that David asks God to preserve his life and bring him out of trouble. I want to be blunt right now. I touched on this in the introduction, but it’s important enough to bring up again: When people struggle and are in despair they can become depressed or even suicidal. I hope and pray that you are not in that position, dear friend. If you are, seek help, whether from a trusted friend, pastor, therapist, or suicide hotline. Don’t wait. Your life is valuable, even if you don’t feel that right now. God creates life, and only he decides when it should end.

Even if we despair of life we must continue living, as in staying alive, and living, as in going about our daily lives, even though our world may seem as if it is coming to an end. We must continue to interact with life, people, and situations. We can’t isolate ourselves from friends and family. Why?

In Psalm 138:7-8, pay close attention to verse 8, which says, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me . . . do not abandon the works of your hands.” 

Now read Philippians 1:6. God the Father began his work in us before the foundation of the world. Ephesians tells us that he prepared good works for us to do, and he prepared them beforehand. Next read Romans 8:28-29, an often quoted verse in times like these, but don’t fail to notice what comes after verse 28. 

What is his purpose? Verse 29 says “to conform us to the likeness of his Son.” He uses the good and the bad in our lives to make us more like Jesus, our example.

Now skip down to verse 31 then 35-39. What powerful words! Make a list of things that can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. (Pretty short list, huh?) Now make another list of the things that cannot separate us from his love. 

Wow, what a comparison! He has a purpose for our lives and everything we go through, both good and bad, conforms to that purpose if we are submitted to him and his will. Think about all the Father has taught you through his Word and meditate on those truths.

We must be proactive in our walk with the Lord. He does all the work of salvation, but we claim promises and obey commands, which is our part in his work in our lives. Let’s look at verses on controlling our thoughts. Hang in there; there are several. Why do we need to see what Scripture says about this? Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace . . .”

Isaiah 26:3 uses the word steadfast which implies “established, resting in, leaning on.” 

How can a person make his/her mind steadfast? Trust in the Lord. 

Read Philippians 4:6-8 where Paul says we should not be anxious about anything, but that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? How can a person have peace after losing someone dear? When we present our requests to God, verse 7 says his peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Guard them from what, do you think? Many things, like Satan’s attacks on our thoughts, his attempts to make us doubt, to discourage us, to make us think life isn’t worth living.

Verse 8 is a well-known verse that helps us see how important it is to “take every thought captive unto Christ.” Write down the things Paul says we should think about and compare that to what we are tempted to think about, especially in desperate times. 

Verses 12 and 13 explain how we manage: Only through Christ. He’s the one through whom God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches (verse 9). Psalm 112:6-8 says it’s the heart of the righteous person that steadfastly trusts in the Lord. But that’s another way of saying mind.

Pray over these verses. It is easy to let our thoughts run away with us, especially when life seems too much to bear, and we languish on a continual diet of desperation and heartache and despair. But one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. 

Again, we must take our thoughts captive, make them submissive to the Holy Spirit’s control to prevent Satan from achieving his purpose of discouragement and defeat.

First Peter 5:8-10 is my prayer for you today. Amen and amen.

(Walking Through Grief-Part 3 is next.)

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