Encourage Your Soul Today: Sunday Devotion #15

Photo taken in Maui, Hawaii, where the light was so mesmerizing.

Psalm 42: 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

I have been prone to “dark days” since I was a little girl who changed homes nearly every year at one period in my life. I didn’t fully understand why depression happens until I spent 28 days in an inpatient psychiatric hospital as an adult. I thought that feeling useless and as if nothing would ever change was just part of being human on earth.

But, I learned from the experience of being hospitalized that my depression occured when I was severely stressed, resulting in a chemical imbalance in my brain. Although the brain was impaired, I felt the darkness in my soul. I had to learn how to recognize the signs of stress in my body and make adjustments in my thoughts or actions that allowed me to lessen the stress before I needed medication or hospitalization.

Like the psalmist, I have learned to perceive when the darkness is descending and my soul is disturbed. And, I, too, have found that remembering that my hope is in Jesus Christ our Lord helps me find enough light to overcome the darkness and realize that all will be well, in time. This form of self-encouragement allows me to destress before my brain is effected.

In times of crises like those we are experiencing today, when souls are assaulted by so many forces of darkness, having a conversation with self that includes acknowledging where our help comes from will do us all a world of good, lifting the veil of darkness on our souls and pointing us toward the Light of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Be encouraged today by the assurances found in Psalm 121 (NKJV):

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

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