“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 40:11
We don’t allow our kids to lie. Of course, they do. After all, they’re sinners and they need a Savior. Still, in terms of behavior, we don’t want our children to speak things that are not true. To lie is to sin, which as you’re already aware, is a big deal to God. His Son, Jesus, died to atone for sin. So, we try to raise our children to only speak that which corresponds to reality. What is the truth? What is the reality? What actually happened?
Ironically, we usually have much lower standards when it comes to ourselves. We allow ourselves to think in patterns that do not correspond to the biblical reality we confess to believe. We become overwhelmed by life and we start to think in unbiblical, untruthful ways. I’m/ he/ she/ it is never going to change. There’s no hope. I’m a total failure. This is a lost cause. God has forsaken me. I’m not enough. Confession: I train my kids not to lie, but turn around and allow myself to believe in only what I see and feel rather than the objective reality of Christ, the Gospel, and his never-failing love.
In the throes of deep depression, the psalmist cries out, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” His depression, his darkness, his sorrow was real. Because of his enemies (v. 9), his soul was in despair. All he could see was struggle. But, notice how he continues: “Hope in God! For I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Did you catch that? He literally spoke to his own soul and told himself to “Hope in God.” He intentionally and consciously told himself what to believe. In the same manner, Paul writes to the Philippians, “…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil 4:8). In other words, tell yourself the truth.
I get it. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the cares of life that we forget about the eternal realities of the Gospel. So, let me encourage you in two simple ways. First, learn how to “Gospel yourself”. When your thinking steers in an unbiblical direction, make an intentional effort to stop yourself and tell yourself the Gospel of Jesus. It is finished! Not condemned! Secondly, do not neglect corporate worship (cf. Heb 10:25). We are told that we meet together in order to “encourage one another” and to “stir one another to love and good works.” God has given us the Gospel community (the local church) for his glory and our good. We don’t have to battle through life alone. We Gospel ourselves and we Gospel each other.
Stay strong this week. Tell yourself the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Matthew S. Rickett