April 18, 2015

Psalm 77:12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

The Bible is clear that even saints get depressed. That should be a comfort to us today. Asaph was losing sleep over his situation until he realized he needed to shift his focus, from himself to God and from his situation to all that God had done. That’s still essential today. The more we focus on ourselves the more depressed we are likely to become, because in the final analysis we have very little ability to change anything. However, when we focus on God, His possibilities are literally infinite, because He is infinite. Asaph decided to meditate on all that God had done in the past, essentially the Biblical record. The thing is, most people today are largely ignorant of the Bible, and what they do remember of the Biblical narrative is likely confused with Disney or whatever. That makes it pretty difficult to meditate effectively! Christian meditation is not an emptying of the mind, the way Zen Buddhism teaches, but rather meditating on something good. Actually, we meditate a good bit on one thing or another, and some of it is not good at all. Most major crimes and sins happen only after the person has thought about it over and over, meditating on it, actually. That’s a major reason pornography is so bad, because it encourages meditation on impure things. Paul put it very clearly: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) Nothing fits that description better than what God has done for us in Christ.

It’s interesting that this has come up as I have been feeling depressed over my own failures. Meditating on what God has done isn’t an excuse not to act, to do what I need to do, but it should put everything into perspective. My weaknesses in no way negate God’s power and love. I am to be faithful to do each task at hand, not running from the unpleasant but recognizing that God will use whatever I yield to Him for my ultimate blessing and His glory. I sometimes get overwhelmed by the huge variety of demands on my attention. The answer is always to fix my attention first on God, and let Him filter everything else. When I fail to do that I am subject to “the tyranny of the urgent,” as it has been called. When I do it in humble obedience, I am able to apply what God has supplied and so deal with each task in turn, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this very timely reminder. You’d think I’d remember it better by now! Help me deal with each thing today holds with a song in my heart, because my heart is fixed on You. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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2 Responses to April 18, 2015

  1. Thank you for this reminder. I’ve been focused on my failures lately and forgetting about the magnitude of God’s grace.

  2. jgarrott says:

    When you in your situation speak of your failures, that should be a strong correction to all who have healthy bodies, because we have far more control over what we do or don’t do. However, as you are certainly aware, all of our actions come from within, and that is what God is most concerned about. Blessings and grace on you.

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