One of the admirable and courageous traits of King David, the writer of Psalm 42, is that he was very in tune and transparent with his feelings. He had a pattern of checking in with himself and assessing how he was doing internally, on a heart level. He did not ignore, avoid, or minimize his feelings. He looked them head on, asked hard questions of himself, and then turned his eyes towards the LORD for wisdom, clarity, and direction.
In Psalm 42, David identifies feelings of sadness. He asked an introspective and self-evaluative question, "Why am I sad?". What can we glean from David's courageous question that may help us or someone we know, love, and care for who may be struggling with sadness? It may be prudent to ponder the truth that we all, at one time or another, will feel sad. It is also prudent to pinpoint the root cause of our sadness. Why am I sad? Can I identify the cause? Can we, like David did, label our feelings? Are we able to be transparent and introspective enough to say, "I am sad."? Can we go a step further and say, "I am sad because...."? And, if we are really willing to go deeper on a heart level, can we turn our eyes to our Lord and Savior--trusting Him with our feelings of sadness and looking to Him for hope?
Sadness is an inevitable reality in our lives. Yet, in times of sadness, the Lord promises to be a very present help (Psalm 46:1). He promises never to leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). He assures us that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). We exhorted not to lose hope or become discouraged because we will see/experience his goodness (Psalm 27:13).
If you are feeling sad today, may I encourage you with good news from the Word of God? Identify the cause of what is making you sad. Identify ways to address and overcome the sadness. Some examples:
- Take a walk
- Take a warm bath or shower
- Talk to someone
- Give yourself time to process the feelings of sadness--do not ignore or avoid
- Do not lose hope. Apply the word of God to your life like a spiritual balm or salve and remind yourself that it will get better and you will feel better
Father, I feel sad. I feel sad because_________________. I thank you for the promises of your word that in time, I will feel better. Help me to trust the truth of your word, by faith. I look to you for hope and encouragement. I thank you for hearing my pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.