Battling Unbelief: Despondency Pt. 2 Daily Devotion

Scripture: Psalms 73:21-26

The Psalm 73:26 contains this truth, “My flesh and my heart may fail.” Now literally it’s just “fail,” not “may fail.” There’s no “may” implied in this Hebrew verb. Its just, “My flesh and my heart are failing, I am discouraged, I am despondent, I am at my wit’s end.” And then comes the spiritual counter attack in the next phrase: “but God.”

So here’s this man. The cork is pulled out at the bottom of his life. His heart and his flesh are just about depleted, and he says—perhaps with his last breath—”but God is the rock (or strength) of my weak, failing life and my portion forever.”

So my point is wherever this despondency may come from it’s unbelief that doesn’t say “but God.” It’s unbelief that puts up no resistance. It’s unbelief that doesn’t take the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit and fight. That much I think we can say with clarity from Scripture. “My body is shot, my heart is almost dead, and for whatever reason I will not yield. I will trust to God though my strength is gone.”

Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” The word of God is given to revive souls. The saints’ souls need to be restored and revived. That means despondency comes and the Word of God is given to restore it.

Satan vs. the Son of God

Let’s go to Jesus. Turn with me to Matthew 26:36 and following. I want us to be with Jesus for a few minutes in Gethsemane. We’ve just celebrated the Lord’s Supper. A few hours later Jesus is in Gethsemane and what’s happening there is probably the greatest spiritual warfare in a human soul that’s ever happened or ever will happen.

Satan no doubt has drawn near. You remember when it said after Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, “He withdrew from him until an opportune time.” When do you think that was? Right now, I think. And not only did he draw near. I’ll bet he gathered all of the most powerful members of his wicked army. You can be assured that the flaming darts that Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 were flying with volleys against the soul of the Son of God as he knelt there wrestling for his faithfulness.

John Piper

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