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January 21, 2015

Text: “Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.” Psalms 22:11

The Bible is so expressive of mankind’s feelings. Read it (especially the Psalms) and you will recognize every emotion and condition of man’s heart. This psalm is attributed to King David. Also, each of our text’s three parts throbs with one of our most common and despairing emotions, loneliness. The usual results of loneliness are depression, despair, and self-pity.

Perhaps this sounds like you. Each day is an ordeal. One problem jumps on your heap of troubles adding to your unbearable burden. No one listens to your woes. You feel isolated and devoid of protection. Each day you weep because of your torments and each night you are restless because your hurts never seem to go away. Psalms 22:2 Your friends seem to have deserted you. Psalms 88:8 

Do not suppose that the Bible neglects the other side of mankind’s  make-up. In a recent article I wrote about joy.  There is plenty of that in the scriptures. God wants you to be happy and content. Consider the words of Isaiah in  Isaiah 52:7 : “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns.”  You will experience unhappiness and have sorrow and conflict along the road of life.  Sorrow and happiness are both  part and parcel of the human condition. But you are mostly the one who causes you unhappiness. But wait! God wishes to restore you to peace and courage, and you can work with him to regain your happiness.

Let’s recall some Bible characters who were overwhelmed by catastrophe, misbehavior, chance, and discipline by God. The Israelites spied out the land of the Amalekites but were afraid of the size of their soldiers and the riches of the Amalekites and refused to invade the land. God punished them for disobedience and meted out to them 40 years of  wanderings in the Sinai wilderness. Job was “the greatest of all the peoples of the east.” (Job 1:3)  He lost everything, including his children, and sat in the rubble heap until his words were proved right and God restored all his riches twice over. Joseph was the favorite son of his father Jacob but his 11 brothers were incensed  against his father’s partiality and sold him to slavers on the way to Egypt. Later, because Joseph prophesied that there would soon be plagues against Egypt to devastate the land and ruin the people. But God had other plans and Joseph was elevated to the second most powerful ruler in the land. The Israelites suffered sorrows upon sorrows but God returned  their happiness, prosperity and peace.  After the Israelites were enslaved for 400 years,  God gave them freedom and a land for their settlement, teeming with blessings galore.  God can replace tears and heartbreak with and hope and contentment. “Come  unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

Here are some principles to adopt from the scriptures. Make them a part of life and your outlook will soar.

“I  call upon you, for you will answer me, O, God; incline your ears to me, hear my words….” Psalms 17:6

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you….” John 14:7

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

And another non-Biblical quote which I like.  “Live long and prosper.” Mr. Spock, Star Trek




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