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Discouragement, What Discouragement?

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! Psalms 42:11 (New Living Translation)



Psalms 42 and 43 are one poem/song with the verse for today used as the refrain (42:5, 13, and 43:5). It beautifully captures the struggle of one individual's battle with discouragement but well echoes the emotional experience of the entire human race. The author is having one of those inner conversations, struggles, and debates we have with ourselves that make us question our condition. 


There are two ways this scripture can be interpreted. One is that the person is going through a time of discouragement and feels the need to reconnect with God. The other is that they are admonishing themselves, questioning why they are discouraged when they know that God cares for them, and looking forward to praising God for his continued deliverance. Which is true? 


Based on past experiences, both! Sometimes, we become discouraged and need to reconnect with God — we need a little “revival” of our souls. We also know with certainty that God cares deeply for us in all situations, and despite this, our instinct is to get discouraged. 


There is another song, this one a little more recent (1904), “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” that conveys confidence and assurance that God is watching over us and protecting us from the troubles we face in everyday life. The song was inspired by a visit that Civilla D. Martin made to an ill and bedridden friend. Discouraged by her illness, her friend remembered a God who watches over each little sparrow. She believed that the same God would watch over her. Here are the lyrics:


Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,

When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.


I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.


“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,

And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;

Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.


I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.


Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,

When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,

I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.


I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.


Let us join in our thanks to God for his love and providence.


Dear Heavenly Father,


In moments of despair, when shadows loom and my heart feels heavy, I turn to you. As the psalmist questioned, "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?" I seek solace in your presence.


Comfort me, O God. Remind me that you are my constant companion, watching over me like a loving parent watches over a sparrow. When doubts and fears assail me, help me remember that your eye is on me, unwavering and caring.


Strengthen my faith, Lord. Let not my heart be troubled. Your tender words echo in my soul, urging me to trust in your goodness. When life's path seems uncertain, guide me step by step. Even when I can't see beyond the next moment, assure me that your watchful gaze never wavers.


Renew my hope, O God. When clouds gather and songs turn to sighs, draw me closer to you. Lift my spirits, for I know you are my refuge. Just as you care for the sparrows, care for me. Grant me peace, even amid life's storms.


I sing because I'm happy, Lord. I sing because I'm free. Your eye is on me, and I find comfort in your unwavering love. May my heart echo the hymn's refrain:


"His eye is on the sparrow,  

And I know He watches me."


In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. 


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


"His Eye Is On the Sparrow" by Civilla Durfee Martin. https://acacia.pairsite.com/Acacia.Vignettes/His.Eye.Is.On.the.Sparrow.html






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