Delight in Misery

If your law had not been my delight,

I would have perished in my affliction. (Psalm 119:92)

Oh how I love your law!

I meditate on it all day long. (Psalm 119:97)

They say misery loves company. While this may be true from a fleshly point of view, from a spiritual perspective, misery craves no company so much as delight.

When I wallow in misery due to depressive lows or frustrating highs, I can find no adequate satisfaction no matter who I hang out with or what I do. Often I lie in bed and stare at the walls or pace frenetically around the house or yard.

I have had counselors who have recommended that on occasions such as these, I listen to self-help tapes filled with “positive messages.” When I have tried this, I find myself getting more agitated. One major problem with the “cult of self-improvement” is it perverts “faith” in such a way that it becomes a means to an end—towards self-fulfillment. The reward of faith is not self-actualization, but communion with God (which is actually self-denial). Our self, our ego, is crushed by genuine faith – we die to the flesh so we can live in the Spirit.

Instead of self-help tapes, I prefer listening to an audio version of the Bible.  This helps stimulate my mind and soothe my troubled spirit. Reflecting on God’s Word with as much of my mind as I can muster relieves me from my misery. I may not shift immediately to feeling delight-full, but the delight contained in the Scriptures has a way of seeping in and soothing my weary soul.

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