A Conversation with My Soul

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:5).

Good morning, soul. It’s another day that the Lord has made.

What’s that? Why am I talking to you? You know as well as I do. We’ve lived together long enough now to know that you, soul, are a listener. You are constantly listening to voices all around you. So I’m talking because you are going to listen to someone today, and I’d rather be proactive and make sure you’re hearing the right message. Now let’s get back do it. You seem downcast and troubled this morning. Why is that?

All those things are true. We do have a busy day today, and I also wish we would have had more sleep last night. And I just took a look at our calendar – you’re exactly right. There are going to be some challenging things that happen today. No denying that. The question for us, then, is how do we want to respond.

I disagree with you. I think we actually CAN help how we feel. That’s why I’m talking to you right now. See, soul, you are right now letting your circumstances dictate to you your level of joy and hope. As long as we do take that route, we are letting our emotions guide us, and that’s a misplacement of those emotions. We need to be guided by faith.

Well, faith in God for starters. You know as well as I do that God has been faithful up to this point, and if He fails us this time, it will be the first time. That of course doesn’t mean the day is any less challenging; it just means that we will go through all the things the day holds for us with a sense of purpose and hope because we believe in the presence and providence of God.

I beg to differ. I think it makes all the difference in the world. It means that whatever the result of today is, God will not be taken by surprise even if we are. And regardless of what the result of today is, we can know together that God’s love for us has not wavered. I know that there are problems to be fixed and issues to be resolved, but none of those problems are so great as the problem that God has already fixed for us.

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I think one of our problems is that we don’t see the problem of sin and death as being big enough. If we truly did, then all the things we will deal with today would pale in comparison. We wouldn’t be so caught up in the emotion and anxiety of the moment when we see those moments in light of eternity.

On the contrary, soul. This shouldn’t make us aloof to the people and problems around us; it will actually make more attune to them. That’s because we know that God has proven His love and care for us at the cross. How, then, could we expect that He would cease caring about us now? It’s a great thing to know that no matter what happens, God is going to take care of you.

I’d be glad to say it again: God will take care of you.

Well, I suppose the way we respond to the challenges we know will come is not with fear or avoidance; instead, we charge headlong into them, and as we do, we ask the question, “What would the gospel have me do in this situation?” See, when you think about it like that, all the challenges of today are really opportunities. And no, I’m not talking about the kind of self-help talk that just says challenges are opportunities in disguise. What I mean is that every challenge is a chance for us to be reminded of the gospel. When things get tough, we get to flex our gospel muscle and remind ourselves that we are secure in Christ, no matter what else happens in our job, our health, or our relationships. We are first and foremost the child of God.

Come on, soul. You know it’s true. Think about faith like a muscle. If you want to build any other muscle, you do it by putting pressure on it. That’s how it grows stronger. So we can look at all of these situations today as that kind of pressure – pressure that will help us grow in how deeply we accept our own acceptance in Christ. How deeply we truly believe the truth of the gospel.

I’m not sure yet how we should respond to the stuff of today, because we don’t yet know everything the day holds. But the Holy Spirit will help us know. I’m sure there will be times to humbly accept responsibility for mistakes and acknowledge our shortcomings. I also know there will be a lot of laughter and freedom. Only time will let us know for sure.

I know you don’t feel better yet. That’s why I’m not done talking. I’ll be having conversations like this with you throughout the day. So, ready to go?

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