“I am overcome with joy, because of Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:7 NLT
When was the last time you were overcome? Was it overcome with fear? Guilt? Anger? I often associate being overcome with bad emotions for some reason. When was the last time I was overcome by a GOOD emotion? Overcome with satisfaction? Security? Faith? Joy?
I have trouble remembering the last time I was overcome by joy. Maybe my wedding day, or holding my newborn baby, or seeing my child graduate. But how convicting this verse was when I realized I cannot remember when I was overcome with joy because of something God did.
But as I kept pondering this verse, meditating, if you will, I realized something. During those early months of grief, I was full of joy at what God prompted others to do for our family. Do you realize I did not have to cook for three months?! I almost forgot how to do anything other than microwave or oven warming! What an overwhelming feeling of joy at God’s love, how God saw our troubles and our anguish, and provided for us in such a practical way. Overcome with joy…
Then memories of my first retreat with the writers of A Widow’s Might flashed in my head. Totally overwhelmed with joy. I know tears formed in my eyes as I wrapped my arms around these women for the first time. The anguish of my heart was released momentarily as I belly-laughed for the first time in a very long time. As I prayed raw, emotional prayers with them. As we saw the personalities of each gal emerge. Overwhelming joy…
That is the beauty of meditating on God’s Word. I am allowed time to really consider the words and consider what they mean to me. As I first read it, I doubted I ever experienced overwhelming joy. But upon meditating, God brought thoughts to my mind and circumstances that showed this truth. Meditating takes the focus off myself and onto God’s unfailing love. Unfailing love.
I love this verse – read it again.
You have seen my troubles. The divorce, death, health, financial ruin, rebellious child, lost love, infertility, relationships, addiction, shame, and misunderstanding.
You care about the anguish of my soul. Anguish, distress, suffering, pain, agony, torment.
Does that encourage you today?
It doesn’t say I was overcome with joy because my troubles were resolved. Or because I got remarried. Or because I was healed. It was solely because the Psalmist knew God saw the troubles and cared. So often I fool myself I can be overwhelmed with joy if only… If only I have the material possessions or have my troubles solved by my definition of solving. Stop. Don’t believe that lie from Satan. Satan wants us to think we can only have joy when we have our solutions. God perhaps has other solutions in mind and we don’t see the solutions because we keep an inward focus.
I need that today. I need to know that God sees my troubles. I need to know Someone cares. How about you?
Loving Father, You are the One we can always count on. You are aware of our troubles and stand ready with Your unfailing love to comfort us. Thank You for seeing and caring. Amen