When despair seems reasonable

Worry seems so natural for me. Do you resonate with that? It seems like worry is a bucket and no matter what’s going on, that bucket is always full. I have learned my propensity to worry is just part of who I am but God has done so much in my life to free me and grow me. Yet, in times of transition like I am in the middle of at the moment, it feels as though I’m running with a full bucket and trying to keep every drop from falling. 

In my head I know that worry is a lack of faith expressed. But the weight of circumstances and emotions are such that fear and worry seem to be battling with my mind. 

Worry leads to fear, which ends in despair. Despair is hopelessness expressed. 

In this clear and present reality in my life, God steps in. 

I love how present God has been lately in this season. As real as the concern for stepping out in faith is, God has been meeting me every time I come to Him in prayer, in my devotions or in listening to my pastor’s messages. This morning God met me yet again with a verse from my favorite book – James. The verse was James 1:2  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”. Again, in my head I know this is the ‘right’ answer but I can’t say it’s my truthful countenance right now. Just being honest. 

As I have read James over and over it’s clear that God’s mission in trials is very different than mine. I want trials over with as soon as possible and if that doesn’t happen fear creeps in and despair comes quickly behind. Yesterday I became aware that despair had crept back into my mind and heart. As I thought about despair’s weight I thought how reasonable I was for feeling that way. I want trials over with but God wants me to stand up in the trial and look to Him! 

The joy encouraged in James 1:2 doesn’t come from circumstances or emotions. Joy comes from worshiping the One True God. Someone once said that prayer isn’t worrying in God’s direction.  

As I journaled and prayed this morning, God convicted me of the reality that discouragement and despair in my life comes from focusing on my circumstances and not God.

Joy comes from a God-centered focus no matter what else is going on. Despair and discouragement are present when there is an imbalance in our lives between our focus on our circumstances or our emotions and our focus on God. 

Here’s a song that was on my playlist this morning – 

‘Yes I Will’ by Vertical Worship

I count on one thing

The same God that never fails

Will not fail me now

You won’t fail me now

In the waiting

The same God who’s never late

Is working all things out

You’re working all things out

Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley

Yes I will, bless Your name

Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy

All my days, oh yes I will

I count on one thing

The same God that never fails

Will not fail me now

You won’t fail me now

In the waiting

The same God who’s never late

Is working all things out

Is working all things out

Oh, yes I will,lift You high in the lowest valley

Yes I will, bless Your name

Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy

For all my days, oh yes I will

For all my days, oh yes, I will

And I choose to praise

To glorify,…

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