What do you do when you feel crushed by discouragement or despair?
Sometimes all I feel like doing is curling up in defeat. And I bet King David has felt the same way.
He was weary and facing trouble, his enemies were pursuing him. He felt crushed.
But he turned to God.
In Psalm 143, David shows us seven things we can do to turn our hearts to the Lord when we face trouble and discouragement.
(*All scripture quoted is from the ESV translation.)
Cry Out to God
David knew that whatever he faced, only God could help and deliver him.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In Your faithfulness answer me, in Your righteousness!” Psalm 143:1
When you face difficulty remember that God is the Faithful and Righteous One who hears you. Cry out to Him.
David acknowledged that he was unrighteous before God, just like every person on Earth. He humbly calls himself God’s servant.
“Enter not into judgment with Your servant, for no one living is righteous before You.” Psalm 143:2
Dear Rose, you cannot be righteous on your own. But if you are in Christ, God does not judge you! Acknowledge this with a contrite heart. God gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
Tell God Your Feelings
David isn’t afraid to share his feelings of despair with God.
“For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.” Psalm 143:3-4
When you are facing crushing feelings you can tell God. He will listen.
Many of us don’t experience the same kind of enemies as David did, but Satan is the very real enemy of our souls. He wants to crush and appall our hearts. When we are discouraged, he will take the opportunity to trap us in darkness, temptation, and sin. Satan’s ultimate goal is to distance us from God. But God is bigger, and in Him, we are secure.
Remember God’s Faithfulness
David recalls all the ways that God was faithful. This helps him to understand that he needs to reach out to God alone as his help.
“I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that You have done;
I ponder the work of Your hands.
I stretch out my hands to You;
my soul thirsts for You like a parched land. Selah” Psalm 143:5-6
When your life feels like dry land, it is your soul thirsting for God. Reach out to Him Rose! He is the one who will quench your thirst.
Remember His faithfulness in the past. Ponder and meditate on it. Consider writing God’s works in a journal. This will give you strength to trust Him for the future.
Put Your Trust in God
When David feels weak, he lifts up his soul to God.
“Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not Your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love,
for in You I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to You I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:7-8
When your spirit fails, lift it up to the Lord. Put your trust in Him. His steadfast love will guide you. He will never hide His face from you, dear one.
Flee to God for Refuge
David knew God alone could save him.
“Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to You for refuge.
Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God!
Let Your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!” Psalm 143: 9-10
When your enemy the devil pursues you, flee to God. He will deliver you and guide you in what is right. He is like level ground—something firm you can stand on.
Standing on this level ground contrasts with going down to the pit (in verse 7). God lifts our spirits from the depths and sets us on the stable ground of His love and truth.
A second contrast is the parched land (in verse 6). God delivers us from the deserts in our lives and quenches our spiritual thirst with His fellowship.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask
David cried out for God to preserve his life and to bring him out of trouble. He even asked that his enemies be destroyed.
“For Your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! And in Your steadfast love You will cut off my enemies, and You will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am Your servant.” Psalm 143:11-12
Rose, God will preserve your life. If you are His If you are His child, His willing servant, you don’t need to be afraid to ask for His deliverance. He has defeated your enemies on the cross; the power of your sin and the devil are crushed. We still battle them, but our Victor is determined—Christ will ultimately destroy Satan in the end. But for now He hears you and answers you. He is your very present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1)
So next time you feel crushed by discouragement and despair turn to God. Ponder all the works of His hands, dear one.
His faithfulness will strengthen you so that you can say with David, “Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust.”
A daughter of the King, Gabriella loves to share the teaching that the Lord has given her through the joys and trials of her life. The desire of her heart is to grow her love, knowledge, and maturity for Christ and the truth found in His Word.