The ancient, Biblical king of Israel, King David, had many talents, but music was the one constant throughout his life. He began as a shepherd and musician. Though he became a war hero others sang about while dancing in the streets, about he was still a musical artist.
Even as king, he continued to be a singer and song writer his entire life. His fame spread far and wide, granting him "rock star" celebrity in Israel, as if his royal status were not enough.
Many of David's songs are joyful and full of praise to God, but some of his songs express grief and anxiety. Psalms 42 and 43, together, comprise a song that today we might describe as "singing the blues." If you read Psalms 42 and 43 in sequence, you will notice the continuity of theme and the repeated chorus, "Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your trust in God." If this song were on the pop charts today it might be titled "Talking to Myself."
The depressed king sings of his desperate thirst for God and the sense that he is missing God's expressed presence. He reminisces about happier circumstances when he worshiped joyfully in the tabernacle or temple. He looks back on times when he was honored and respected. Now he is bereft and maligned. He is overwhelmed with tribulation, personally and even at a national level.
Even though his suffering is great, the thing that he longs for most is to be in God's presence and feel him near. He finds hope in his past experiences with God and in the joy and peace he finds in God's presence.
After he expresses each complaint, he "talks back" to himself, encouraging himself that better times are ahead. He reminds himself how, in times past, God has turned his suffering into joy, and reassures himself that God will do it again. Over and over, he talks to himself saying, "Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your trust in God!"
We can learn much from this composer, shepherd, warrior king. Often, the difference between success and failure, even survival and death, lies in the words we say to ourselves. Even when we feel abandoned and betrayed or danger is imminent, the words we say to ourselves can drive us to despair or give us the necessary strength to try just one more time, run just a little further, hold on just a little longer.
Learn to pay attention to your own "self talk." Is it draining your initiative or spurring your to keep on trying? Follow David's example and learn to encourage yourself. Then you'll understand that "talking to yourself" isn't crazy; it's the key to living victoriously.
Don't forget to watch the video! Beth Moore humorously reminds us to encourage ourselves as David did."
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