Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who all upon you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. Psalm 86:3-7
Feelings follow focus. It’s how our brains work. I can’t focus on worry and be content. I can’t focus on anger and hurt and be at peace. No one can compartmentalize to that degree . . .
Nor am I to have the attitude of “if I ignore it then it will go away” similar to the little child who hides his eyes and declares, “you can’t see me because I can’t see you!” The theme is — where is my focus?
Two primary and effective ways to “gladden my soul” are:
singing hymns and praise songs
They are not “magic pills.” But reading and singing God’s truth replaces rehearsing thoughts of despair and discouragement. It is an act of faith, declaring that God is bigger than my circumstances, and that He has not forgotten me.
Here is a simple hymn that I sing to myself often. One of my favorite times to sing a hymn is when I am rocking a grandchild. The older ones ask, “Nana, will you sing a song?” and it is usually a hymn . . .
Trusting Jesus, by Edgar P Stites 1876
Simply trusting every day; Trusting through a stormy way; Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Chorus: Trusting as the moments fly, Trusting as the days go by, Trusting Him, whate’er befall, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Brightly doth His Spirit shine Into this poor heart of mine; While He leads I cannot fall, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Singing if my way be clear, Praying if the path be drear; If in danger, for Him call, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Trusting Him while life shall last, Trusting Him till earth is past, till His gracious advent call, Trusting Jesus, that is all.