Day 24 - Issue 34

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Exodus 6:9 NLT

'So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.'

August is normally the heart of the British summer. Schools are closed and families head off on holiday. The rhythm of life feels slower, the traffic on the roads much lighter and each day feels longer and brighter. When the sun shines, I am generally encouraged and my mood lifts. However, despite the season, or whether I’m on holiday or not, I always run the risk of falling into despondency. When we have days (or longer) like this, it’s as if the very essence of our being has drained away. The petrol tank needle’s on empty. We simply want to give up. In such times it’s easier to lay the blame at God’s door than consider any solutions.

Moses faced this challenge with Israel, when he gave them God’s message that they were to leave Egypt. The pain of the present stopped them imagining any future other than the cruel slavery they endured, and so even an inspirational message left them cold. Similarly, despondency will rob us of our fellowship with God and each other. It will isolate us, which is why we need to contest it constantly.

My wife, Jayne, has a long-term chronic pain condition which greatly impacts her lifestyle choices. It can both influence and then control her mood. And, because we are married, her challenges become my challenges and I too must carefully manage my mood. If we both sink into despondency the days become dark, we grow lethargic and faith drains from every pore of our being. However, now we are on the lookout for despondency, we are better placed to resist it, and instead choose God’s promise.

QUESTION: How’s your mood today?

PRAYER: Be there, Lord, with all who battle to resist sliding into despondency, including me.

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