The Cure for a Christian's Despair
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. 2 Cor. 4:8.
Faint not when thou art rebuked of him. Heb. 12:5.
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord. Jonah 2:7.
The apostles and prophets also know and speak of fears and temptations to become despondent. You believe it impossible that such men, who were guided immediately by the Spirit of God, also must experience such things. You think that after you have begun to love the Lord you shall know no fear; that He will carry you upon His hands. This He does, even in the midst of your fear and anxiety. What would otherwise become of you?
A Christian must frequently experience anxiety — that is unavoidable. But he shall never fall into utter despondency. But if you are near to despair, then remember the Lord, as Jonah did, who also was troubled at heart when he was in the deep — in the belly of the fish. But he turned his thoughts to the Lord who is no less able to save in the deep than on solid land; who has the strength to help just as well in the belly of the monster as in the quiet chamber. Therefore, even though tribulations, want and afflictions have swallowed you up, and compassed you about, as the fish did Jonah; though you are covered by misfortune and misery as he was covered by the billows of the sea, turn your thoughts toward the Lord who also was afraid (Luke 12:50), and who says to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not” (Is. 35:4).
Almighty is the Lord most holy.
His least word is with power endowed
To set on high the poor and lowly,
And cast to earth the rich and proud.
Most wondrous work God doeth
When He humbleth or exalteth men.
Jesus Christ, my sure defense.
And my Savior, ever liveth;
Knowing this, my confidence
Rests upon the hope He giveth,
Though the nights of death be fraught
Still with many an anxious thought.
From: Gossner. John Goszner’s Treasury: Bible Meditations and Devotional Songs for Each Day of the Year. 1906/2021 LutheranLibrary.org