BREAKING THE SHACKLES OF DISCOURAGEMENT
Psalm 42:1-6 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
As we read this powerful passage of Scripture, we can almost feel the pain and hear the tears fall to the ground as David writes about what it is like to be discouraged. There are so many people today that are experiencing the bondage of being discouraged. Just look around you, the people you work with, your family members, church members, at the grocery store, and maybe even today when you looked into the mirror, this Psalm was describing you. Have you come to a place where you have reached the end of your rope? You are exhausted from trying to find the answer as to why you feel the way you do. Your strength is almost gone and what seemed to be discouragement has now become more like depression and you have been this way for a long time. The only direction you seem to be going is down more and more and you have sunk so low in despair that now you are just trying to stay afloat. When we come to this place where David is, our view of truth is shielded because our eyes are sheltered within our own misery and situation. When all we can see or feel is our own pain, we are taken captive by our own hopelessness and we don’t even realize it. Dear friend, this is a dangerous place to be. If you only see desolation and you feel alone, and if you can’t seem to even locate higher ground for freedom…YOU NEED DELIVERANCE! If David found himself here in this place of discouragement where tears were his meat day and night; where he was thirsting for God but seemingly could not find him; where he poured out his soul and yet his soul was cast down…can you imagine how many people feel this way? Where is deliverance from depression found? How do we escape the shackles of discouragement when we get to this low point in our life?
It is here in this low place that we need to gravitate to the Word of God and all of HIS promises. In (verse 6) of our text, David said, “therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan”. In other words, David was taking time to reflect and remember God’s blessings and victory in his life, time and time again! He looked back at the miracles and all that he had witnessed the Lord deliver him from. When we remember and recognize how good God has been to us there is a healing that takes place. The Lord can restore us, refresh us and empower us when we reflect on HIS goodness. When we can go back and revisit some of our trials and circumstances and then give God praise, it is then that a weary soul can be encouraged. It is very possible that this time of discouragement or depression you are experiencing will bring glory to God, it just has not been revealed yet. Our view of God’s hand at work has been shielded by a lack of vision all around us, but know for sure, HE is at work and HE will get glory! Hallelujah!
In our text today, God is calling us to remember HIM and HIS goodness to us in days past in order to carry us in the present ones. Remembering God at work in your past is your source of strength; it will renew your hope and steady your feet even when your world is sinking around you. It’s my prayer for you today that your vision will be made clear, your strength renewed, and that your feet will have the power to move onward no matter where HE leads you. Christian friend, if you have been in a dark place for some time, it is now time to come out into the light, walk in victory, and give God praise! Start today, by looking around you at your blessings, not the ones you DON’T have but the ones you do. Take some time and look at the smiles and into the eyes of all those around you that love you…your spouse, your children, grandchildren, your brothers and sisters in Christ, your Pastor. When you really see how good God has been, your soul will leap within you and tears of joy will follow. Reflect back at your walk and life with Jesus since the day you met HIM. Remember all those sacred times alone with HIM when HE placed HIS hand in yours and there was no more fear. When it was just time shared between YOU and HIM. My friend, those times are precious…REMEMBER them! What a mighty God we serve! HE is wonderful! Today, may the shackles of discouragement be broken in your life and may you stand in awe of HIM.
Bro. Lawrence Longworth
Isaiah 61:1 “the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”