Daily Devotion: Learning to Call on God

Psalm 118:5, Out of my distress I called on Yahweh; Yahweh answered me and set me free.

When in doubt, call on God. What is troubling you? What causes you anxiety? What makes you hate yourself? What is stressing you out? Whatever is troubling you, call on God. Get on your knees and pray. Grab your Bible and read. Call your pastor and talk to him. Call a brother or sister in Christ and talk with them. As Luther assures, “It is [God’s] desire and will that you lay your troubles before Him. He does not want you to multiply your troubles by burdening and torturing yourself” (Commentary on Psalm 118, LW 14:60-61).

I’ve been suffering with depression for a long time, and it has come in various forms, as it often does. One of its forms that has been chiefly consistent is my unhealthy habit of being highly self-critical. One of my problems is that I live in my head too much. I think too much and I analyse too much. Thus, naturally, I overanalyse and overthink a lot of things especially when it comes to myself. I feed myself rotten thoughts about my abilities and quality of character. I will never forget one thing my father taught me before I left for the Army. My father, aware of this habit of mine, told me, “Whenever you begin to have negative thoughts about yourself, find two or three people to encourage you.” I’ve taken his advice ever since.

It’s taken several years for me to develop this habit, but whenever I begin to overanalyse myself and put myself down, I try my best to either seek someone out—usually a brother or sister in Christ—or go to the Word and remember what God has to say about me as His child. With my self-isolating habits, I usually try to find a friend in Christ or a loved one rather than keeping it all to myself.

God works through His Word and He also chooses to work through the words and presence of His people to provide comfort. It’s not easy to do this. As Americans, we pride ourselves on being individuals, but we can’t do everything by ourselves. In fact, things always work best when you do them with somebody else. That’s saying a lot coming from someone who’s an INFJ.

Call on God when you are in trouble; He always provides comfort. God loves to provide through ordinary means, so expect Him to provide comfort through the form of another person who loves you.

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