Psalms 31:9
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body!”

We cannot be certain of the situation that caused this psalm, but it is very clear the Psalmist was going through an extremely difficult season in life. He describes himself as being under severe attack and needing the Lord to be his fortress. He speaks of his troubles and his adversities, and his eyes wasting away in grief, as he cries before the Lord. He also goes into great length to speak of his emotional condition during this time. He describes himself as, “wasting away with grief, in both his soul and body” and being “like a broken vessel.” 

Without knowing the exact situation that caused his condition, we can still relate to what David was going through. All of us have known times in life of severe attack, grief and pain. The encouraging thing is, that no matter what David faced, he knew that the mercy of God was large enough, not only to comfort him, but to comfort all who endure the pain and hardship of life.

Whatever you are facing, take time today to sit at the feet of Jesus and cry out to Him.

Pastor Jim


Distressing Spirit

1 Samuel 16:14

“But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.

1 Samuel 16:16
“Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.”

The word distressing that describes Saul’s condition could also be translated as bad, evil, sad, or even as being in a state of misery. The writer wants us to understand that King Saul was being plagued by his emotions. The chapters leading up to this reveal that the cause of Saul’s condition was his disobedience to the Lord. Pride, self will, and fear of man, have been the driving forces behind Saul’s actions, and he is now reaping the consequences of a life lived contrary to the ways of God. In an attempt to be helpful, his friends gave him some very bad advice. They suggested that whenever he started to feel bad, he should distract himself with music. This remedy might have helped Saul feel better, but it in no way cured what actually ailed him. What Saul really needed to do was change his behavior, not his radio station. 

Saul is not alone in being plagued by guilt, fear, discouragement, or depression, caused by bad behavior. Sadly, we often receive the same counsel Saul received; we are encouraged to change just about everything, except the behaviors that are actually causing the problem. Often, the only cure from being plagued by a distressing spirit is repentance. 

Acts 3:19

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

It was the kindness and mercy of God that allowed Saul to suffer with a distressing spirit. It was designed as a wakeup call to turn the king back to following the Lord. Instead of allowing his condition to lead to repentance, Saul sought distractions. Sadly, this resulted in his never coming out of the condition in which we find him. As the story continues to unfold in the life of the king, things will grow increasing worse. 

Not all bad emotions are caused by bad behavior, but the ones that are, can only be cured by turning to the Lord and away from the actions that are displeasing to Him. 

Pastor Jim