Not “under the circumstances”
A meditation from David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher. (David uses the S.O.A.P. method in his morning devotional time, study, observe, apply, pray)
Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. NIV
When we are happy we have a smile on our face, and when we are broken hearted, we are, by definition, crushed/down. So, is this proverb here just to state the obvious? I think there is more. What if we aren’t happy? Can we do anything about it? Like go to a party or buy something new? It may help temporarily but I don’t think that is the point.
Ps 9:1-2 says “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Even if our circumstances are not good, and we are sad, we can remember the goodness of God in the past and consciously thank and praise Him. Even if we cant think of good things He has done for us, we can think about what He has done for others (See Ps 77. Yes, read it!) And if we are really down, read Ps 78 and it will bring joy to our heart.
And if we are experiencing heartache, tell the Lord! Pour out your grief and tears. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and familiar with grief. (Isa 53). He tells us not to be anxious about anything, to to pray about everything, with thanksgiving, and the peace of God will surpass anything we can imagine. (Phil 4:5-8) He invites us to “cast our cares on Him because He cares for us” (1Pet 5:7)
Lord, thank You that we are not powerless to cope with circumstances. You told us “in this world we will have trouble, but we can be or good cheer, we can take heart, because You have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Even if circumstances never change, even if we get killed, You have overcome death and You will raise us to be with You forever! And Lord, help me have a shepherd’s heart that weeps with those who weep, yet also connects them with Your promises and Your presence and Your peace. I praise You that You are not bound by time or circumstances, and You can give us victory in our times and circumstances. Amen