Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spiritual Comfort

Have you ever pasted a happy smile on your face and donned a make-believe “everything is wonderful” attitude for the world to see? We all fake it sometimes, but hidden emotion eats at the heart and soul and destroys the body. Yet no one enjoys being around someone who repeatedly uses other people as a dump for their angry and hurt feelings.

The Bible has many examples of people who expressed their honest, heartfelt emotions to God. Some were despondent to the point of giving up on their lives. There are expressions of anger, grief, sadness and hopelessness in the books of Job, Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, and in the lives of people like Moses, Paul, Hannah, David, Jonah, Jesus and others.

Jesus said in Matthew 5,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul says,

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this
all–surpassing power is from God and not from us.

We are hard pressed on every side,
but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

The Psalms are described as Israel’s songbook. Psalm 88 is likely the darkest song ever written with no seeming resolution to the psalmist’s depression. Sing with me…

…my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, O LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you…

Why, O LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?

Psalm 42 beautifully describes feelings of sorrow, longing and faith. There is no indication that the problems described vanished, but our spiritual comfort is from God alone.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Excerpts from Psalm 42


  1. I love so many of the Psalms for that reason Ruth. Beautiful post and images.

  2. Anonymous1:47 pm GMT-4

    I have just finished reading through the Psalms.
    This is a beautiful and meaningful post with the accompanying pictures perfectly chosen.

    Love and Prayers

  3. I enjoyed reading this post.-Yes I do fake happiness some times.-Many times you can trick yourself into a good mood but everone needs an emotional release now and then too.

  4. Ruth,

    I used to have a tape of the Psalms set to music. I loved that tape but it was an 8-track and eventually became obsolete. I enjoyed that music so much.

    An awesome post and the photo of the footbridge reminds me of the passing from this earth into heaven.

    Blessings for a great week.

  5. I'll read this when I'm away from work and have more time.
    I wanted to share that I have been noticing blue. Even blue handicapped parking spaces, to the blue in the sky and blue cars! I appreciate it more.
    I've been wanting to do a post about color in winter. We don't get the snow that you probably do, but you'd like we were in blizzards. People here complain so much about it, but its beautiful and I think it makes the colors in nature just pop!
    Oh and guess what, I saw my first humming-bird moth this morning!

  6. Well done, Ruth. Thanks.


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