A Sermon to Myself on Valentine’s Day

[Credit: most of this is either taken directly from Scripture or from my sermon notes on my dad’s January 3rd sermon.]

I haven’t had the best attitude lately. The stress of grad school and job applications, together with the pervasive feeling of loneliness I’ve felt since moving to Williamsburg, has left me with what I’ve diagnosed as dysthymic disorder. It may also be Seasonal Affective Disorder, because it seems to always get worse at this time of year.

I’ve been especially sad all week. My birthday was Monday, today is Valentine’s Day, and I was once again confronted with all the doubts and fears I’ve carried with me since high school…

Today during church Bill preached on the role of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is our Counselor, our Comforter, and the guarantee of our salvation. He convicts the world of sin and convinces the world of righteousness. And right on cue, the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head in the middle of the service.

“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? And why should my heart feel lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me…”

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

…for I will yet praise him…

My praise is not simply an act of emotion that takes place during corporate worship. It is an act of obedience that requires will, intellect, and effort.

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sings and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

————————————————————–

Dear Allison,

Why are you in despair? Do you not know? Have you not heard?

God has forgiven all your sins.

He is the one who has brought you healing time and time again and will one day complete it.

He has redeemed your life and bought you with His Son.

He crowns you with love and compassion.

He satisfies your desires with good things.

He has compassion and understands your pain.

He does not treat you as your sins deserve. You have found favor. You are not just in God’s neutral zone. He couldn’t possibly ever love you more than He does this very moment.

His divine power has given you everything you need for life and godliness.

He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He chose you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. It is for his PLEASURE that you have been adopted as his daughter.

You are honored and precious in His sight. His unfailing love for you will NEVER be shaken, nor his covenant of peace be removed.

Nothing in all creation can separate you from His love.

He is not slow in keeping His promises.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Take heart, and believe these words.
Sincerely,
The Comforter

——————————————————————

So how am I doing on this Valentine’s Day? Really?

Honestly….
I am drinking from my saucer, because my cup is overflowing.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

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