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Escaping gloom!

Do you remember the television program “Hee Haw"? It was Bernie Brillstein, Frank Peppiatt, and John Aylesworth who wrote this funny song: “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

Some may laugh, but for many people, gloom and despair are no laughing matter. Their days are filled with hopelessness and despondency. Some find peace in psychotherapy or medication. Others secure their peace in community service and acts of kindness. But many never locate the peace they seek.

The Bible certainly offers Divine help. But even God’s people occasionally find themselves in misery. Jonah (Jonah 1) was so frustrated that he abandoned the Call of God. Depression drove Elijah to sit down under a juniper tree and ask God to let him die (1 Kings 19:4).

The Old Testament King David must have hit rock bottom when he wrote Psalm 13 (ESV) – “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed over him,’ lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

We do not know why David was so distraught, but it happens. Some of you reading this may feel just like David, and pray: “How long, O Lord are you going to let me languish in this mess? How long will You hide your face from me?”

But there is hope. As the songwriter Edward Mote penned, “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging Grace; In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.” Friends, even in the pit of despair, God has not abandoned you. Near the end of Psalm 13, David remembers that his trust is in God. Indeed, to whom else would he turn?

Never forget that God’s love for you is like the sun. Though the day may be cloudy, the sun endures. God remains unchanged even when we find ourselves in a dark place.

So, as we read in Isaiah 61:3, put on “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Or as David said, “I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

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