When I am overwhelmed


By Patricia Newman

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in Him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3


How blessed we are in Christ! We have been divinely retrieved and salvaged from sin; from its power and its penalty. Hell is no longer our destiny. We have been translated. Delivered from the power of darkness and brought into the everlasting light of the kingdom of God. No longer restless, no longer condemned, we have peace with God. Hallelujah! In Christ, joy unspeakable is our inheritance. Hallelujah! Sinners saved by grace, formerly dead in trespasses and enemies of God. Now fully accepted in the Beloved, Jesus Christ, who loved us and made atonement for us with His own blood. Praise be to God for the wonderful glory of His grace lavished on us.

The Christian journey, however, is neither rosy nor easy. It is a walk of faith. The end is infinitely glorious. We have an ever-living hope. But for much of our sojourn here we travel a difficult road. All Christians sooner or later and to a greater or lesser degree encounter setbacks, disappointments, and prolonged waiting for answers to prayer. Difficult relationships, persecution, loss of a child or other loved ones, health issues and so on. But we were never promised a trouble-free life in this world. Indeed our Lord Jesus said: “In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Just as we have been saved by grace through faith, we journey by His grace through continued faith in Christ. Grace because we need and depend on God’s divine power and strength daily and particularly when we deal with challenges; when we face our Goliaths. Faith because it is God’s very design that we live above our circumstances, trusting Him through the difficult and seemingly impossible seasons of our lives. Through each season, God is at work in His people. He will never leave us nor forsake us. We learn to wait on Him. To wait in faith and in expectancy.

The just shall live by faith. Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:38

What a comfort God’s word proves in the difficult seasons! As we read and meditate on God’s word particularly in the Psalms, we are comforted as we see how God’s people have handled their challenges, continually pouring out their hearts to God. When we are at our wit’s end, when we face the wall of impossibility, we are reminded of David’s cry in Psalm 61:2:

From the end of the earth I will cry to You;
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.

The Psalmist’s response to his situation, looking to the Lord, the great I AM in fervent prayer, is the healthy and true response of a child of God. The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of losing sight of the boundless might and power of God.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of magnifying Goliath rather than the Lord of the universe.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of losing heart rather than praying without ceasing.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of losing sight of the eternal Rock of Ages, my refuge, my fortress and my shield.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of spiritual amnesia, forgetting the unwavering faithfulness of God.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of believing a lie, so lead me to the Truth.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of losing my joy in Christ, so lead me to God in whose presence there is fullness of joy.
When I am overwhelmed, I am in danger of being overcome so lead me to the One who has overcome the world.

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. There I will find perspective is graciously restored. And I find that I am overwhelmed not by difficulties and apparent impossibilities but by His love, mercy, wisdom, faithfulness and majesty. The Lord is working out His higher purposes all along. His steadfast love never ceases! His lovingkindness is better than life, therefore, my lips shall praise Him continually. May the Lord, in His mercy, grant us the grace to trust Him through every season of our lives.

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labour of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls –
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Habakkuk 3:17 – 19

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