So often when people are anxious or depressed or just going through a tough situation, they look within themselves to find an answer. In fact, we are encouraged to look within, to tap into our own strength, to find the answers we already have tucked inside ourselves. Well-meaning therapists spend hours upon hours trying to help hurting people “find” an answer. And the answer is often: keep telling yourself you are enough.
David knew what having a bad day was all about. David battled depression and anxiety. But David also knew the answer, and it wasn’t found within himself. He knew he wasn’t enough.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. (verses 5a and 11)
You see, the answer to all of life’s problems, every anxious moment, is a result of sin, of taking our eyes off Jesus, of placing our hope in anything or anyone other that God.
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember You… (verse 5b)
He didn’t say “therefore I look inside myself.” He looked to God because the truth of it all is, you really can’t overcome your problems in your own strength. You were never intended to be able to.
You might say that might work for some, but not all. You might say that philosophy is too simplistic, even dangerous to believe. I say you would be wrong to think that.
There was a life-threatening storm at sea. Jesus invited Peter to get out of the boat and step INTO the storm. Peter did that, and actually walked on water! I know! It was a miracle.
But as soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus and focused instead on the storm, he began to sink. Peter was unable to stand on his own, unable to save himself. There was no tapping into his own strength, no belief in his own abilities to stay afloat. He was sinking.
Then Jesus lifted Peter back into the boat AND calmed the storm. Jesus did that. He still does that. (Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 6)
If you are anxious, fearful, drowning in life’s storms, don’t look to yourself for answers. You don’t have what it takes to overcome. You don’t need to have that ability because God has it. Look to Him. Allow Him to carry you, to calm your storm.
He will if you are His through the blood of Jesus.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up! (James 4:10)
Because, my friend, you really can’t lift yourself up. You really can’t.