I have often battled periods of deep discouragement. I wouldn’t consider it clinical depression, but it can feel like a deep pit with no way out. Those blue feelings of failure, dejection and hopelessness have the power to overwhelm and disable you.
The strange thing is that God has often used the same discipline to rescue me from discouragement, but I always seem to forget when I’m in the pit.
Thankfully, God often whispers the way out and it always works.
What is the way out of discouragement?
Many times, I have cried out to God for help. “God, how do I get out of this hole?”
And he has answered me…
Worship may at first seem counter intuitive when you are dealing with feelings of discouragement. Who wants to sing a song when you feel like a pile of garbage?
Like all spiritual disciplines, your actions are not based on what you feel like doing.
If you only read the bible or pray or fast or serve when you feel like it, how often will those things happen?
Spiritual disciplines happen because we have determined that they are vital to our life and we make a habit out of doing them. You can read one of my favorite posts on living beyond what you feel like here.
For me, worship during times of discouragement has been a matter of obedience. God answers my prayer and says “worship” so I worship. I am finally grasping the immense value of it and want to make it a more regular habit and one that I don’t forget when I’m discouraged.
Why does worship drive discouragement away?
Another legit question.
I think that there are several reasons, but it basically comes down to this:
Worship shifts our line of sight from our problems to an incredible God that is greater than those problems.
The best worship music makes God great. It magnifies him. It exalts him. It reminds us of the vast chasm between God’s nature and ability and whatever has us down at the moment.
When you listen and sing words of worship, you are making declarations about who God is. You are reminding yourself of the God you serve. Worship builds a theology of God in your heart that is superior to the struggles of life. Therefore, it encourages faith. It encourages trust. It drives us to prayer. It takes us back to his word. And it all helps form a right understanding of our lives in light of a tremendous God.
The darkness begins to break.
I think that another essential part of worships role in helping us overcome discouragement is that music speaks to the heart.
As human beings we do not just operate on rational thought. We have hearts that are the center of our beings. They are full of emotions, motivations, thoughts and will. The heart is a complex and beautiful thing and it is moved by music.
Why does music play such a large part in culture? It moves people. God designed it that way and so when you struggle with discouragement, let it move you.
Let it move you out of the pit. Let it set your hearts free. Let it crush Satan’s lies with truth. Let it bury the burdens that you unnecessarily carry. Let hope rise.
Don’t leave worship til Sunday.
You need your heart fully alive everyday.
And when discouragement sneaks up on you, crank it up.