The secret to getting up when life knocks you down

What do you do when you fall? When life runs over you and leaves you in despair, how do you respond? How do you get off the mat again?

These are tough questions. You may be thinking, “I know what the right answer is, but praising God in tribulation is not how I typically respond.” If you have ever been knocked down, you’re well-aware of the challenges associated with getting up again.

The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. – Psalm 145:14

Some days you don’t feel like it.

In Psalm 145, God gives us a peek into the heart and life of David, a man who was significantly knocked down. We get to see David’s practical experience of God in his life. David is not extolling God primarily because he had learned about God through his Christian studies; though theological studies are necessary for learning about God.

David is extolling God because he had experienced Him in the crucible of life. It is in the crucible of life where our theology and experience mesh together, and this shapes us into the people we truly are.

Though David was a sincere believer in God, he had sinned grievously against his God. You know the story. David was one of God’s choicest servants who fell hard.

David acutely lived through some of the world’s harshest experiences. His life, marriage, family, and vocation were in shambles, and he was the common denominator in all four of those life spheres that had gone awry.

King David knew the highs and lows of life. And though God’s judgment was on him at times, David knew that God’s love was the backdrop of His judgment. No matter how bleak things became, David lived in the assurance that the steady hand of God would lead him through his darkness.

Psalm 145 is not your story.

Even though you can be encouraged by Psalm 145 and draw much benefit from this Psalm of praise, it is not your story. This song is David’s story. To be changed you must experience your own story. You cannot praise God rightly, based on David’s story.

You must praise God from your personal experience of God. If you have not experienced God personally, the Bible stories will be ways to find encouragement temporarily, but they will be powerless to change you eternally.

Like a good movie, you can live vicariously through the actors of the drama, but at the end of the film, you must go home to your own life. It is when you take God’s words (the Bible) and ask Him to work His words into you, by the power of His Spirit, that you can experience Him in a way that is more than theory.

The gospel is your story.

David does give you a clue in Psalm 145 as to how you can experience what he has experienced.

The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. – Psalm 145:14

God resolved your worst problem in life at the cross and the tomb. The cross demonstrates God’s unfathomable love for you. The tomb demonstrates God’s incredible power to you.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, – Ephesians 2:4-5

If God has saved you by His grace, you experienced Him in your past when you were at your absolute worst. He picked you up from your hopeless condition.

Because God has fixed your worst problem, you can now inform your feeble soul that He will sustain you through any other challenge in your life.

Did you fall? Did someone knock you to the ground? Be assured: you can get up because the gospel says so! Think about these things as you face trials in your life:

  1. How does the gospel inform you when you are brought low by life’s challenges?
  2. Though you might not be able to get up at this moment, does the gospel give you that quiet confidence that things will be okay eventually?
  3. Though your feelings may not be responding to what you know, begin today to preach the gospel to yourself. Read Psalm 145 right now and ask God to give you a song of praise.

Now read this: Does anyone hear your ‘unspoken broken’?

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