Lift Up Your Hearts

January is known as the month to reorganize (as you can see by the covers of many women’s magazines). For some reason, this is just what we want to do. All of us! It’s time to clean out the closets, toss out the old and replace it with the new. It’s time to turn over the new leaf, set some new goals, start some new projects, and get a fresh start. There is something so promising about a new year. We feel hopeful and eager to try again, this time with better results.

But January can also be a time when some can start to feel a little down and discouraged. This may come from the big let down after the excitement of Christmas (or by the extra pounds from the fudge). If you have allowed yourself to become too elevated with all the excitement, your body and soul have to make an adjustment to get you back to normal. But sometimes an over-correction can send your spirits into the tank.

Or, if you don’t live in a sunny climate, you may feel a little low or cooped up because of the wet, gray weather. A little case of the blues can be brought on by many different bugs, kind of like the common cold. The point is not to track down the source. The point here is to find the cure and apply it. Nobody wants to drag around with a case of the post-Christmas doldrums, whatever the cause. It’s like having a spiritual case of the runny nose.

And you may think I am jumping the gun; after all, you may not have even taken the tree down yet. But an ounce of prevention is a blessed thing. So that’s why I’m hitting the topic of January blues while it is still 2008.

The sursum corda is an ancient element of Christian worship (and no, I haven’t changed the subject). At our worship service, the minister says to the congregation, “Lift up your hearts.” And we reply, “We lift them up to the Lord.” It struck me today when we were saying these words that we are doing the lifting. We are not sitting and waiting for the Lord to lift us up. In other words, we have a responsibility to lift up our hearts.

Psalm 25:1 says, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”

Psalm 86:4-5 says, “Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

Psalm 143:8 says, “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”

And Lamentations 3:41: “Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.”

My point here is that we do not sit and wait for God to suddenly cheer us up, to lift our souls and our hearts for us. We are to act in faith and lift them up to the Lord. We lift our hands, our hearts, our souls. And in doing so we are presenting our whole selves to our King. He is abundant in mercy, and mercy is just what we need.

When you feel tempted to be blue or lonely or sad or discouraged, lift up your heart to the Lord. Present yourself to Him. Worship the Lord your God. And then you can walk through the month by faith, with rejoicing in your heart, saturated with His mercy. So don’t panic when you feel tempted. Seize the opportunity to lift up your heart. Do this by faith, not because you feel like it. This is mortifying the flesh, because there is a certain aspect of feeling blue that we like (otherwise, we would not do it).

There. Put that in your medicine cabinet.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0

16 thoughts on “Lift Up Your Hearts

  1. Wow! What an encouragement and it could not have come at a more perfect time. You must be a fly on my wall, because there was nothing you could have written that would have been more applicable to me right now. I was especially touched by Psalm 143:8 and your encouragement to lift up our souls! Thank you so much for your faithful sharing!

  2. Amen sister Nancy, oil, much oil on my head. I love the wisdom. I appreciate the heads up before the moment, it’s a lift up in the right direction. 🙂

  3. This was great–much needed in my life, as well. I have never commented before but have been reading for a while and enjoy it so much. Thank you!

  4. Fantastic entry, Nancy. Our family went through a spell of thinking everything came from the Lord and we were to just kind of sit and wait for what the Lord would give us. But, our eyes were opened awhile back, thanks be to God, and we have since taken a more active role in our daily walk, none too soon. Thank you, as always, for the encouragement.

  5. Visiting from Magistramater – thank you so much for posting this. After a holiday week that has involved back spasms, stomach flu, and my father cutting his hand on a table spa, I’m experiencing the January blahs a bit early. I needed this reminder.

  6. Amen! And I would emphasize that even our ability to lift our hearts to Him is a gift of His grace. So, when we are down, we should pray that God will give us the grace and strength to lift our hearts to Him(because as my 4 year old niece says, “We can’t do this by ourselves!”.)

  7. Thanks Nancy! I was already getting worried about the January-February months and the temptation towards being depressed, so this is a great encouragement. 🙂

  8. Thanks! A very very good reminder, even though it’s only the 5th day of Christmas, we definitely need to be on the watch for a decline in our joy as this season comes to an end.
    My husband, Luke, is very good about being cheerful and he made me realize that cheerfulness and joy in the Lord is very much an active action – we shouldn’t passively wait for the ‘feeling’ of happiness to suddenly hit us!

  9. Thank you for this very insightful and encouraging post. I do tend towards depression, especially after the holidays and this is a great reminder. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness that has obviously gone into your words! Melanie (friend of Magistramater)

  10. This is a great reminder, thank you so much for posting this. January and February are always dark months for me, especially living in Seattle with the near-constant rain and post-holiday blues. It is good to remember that we rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS – not just in the exciting times of the holidays, but the always of a grey day in January or February.

  11. Thank you, Mrs. Wilson. Even though I hear it each Sunday too, I may miss it while wiping noses and patting little bums as a reminder to stand, or just through familiarity. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God. It is meet and right so to do. And…our bounden duty as you’ve aptly reminded us. Thank you so much for that reminder. I needed it!

  12. I like this post the best. I’ll tape it onto my closet door and keep reading it while I clean out my room.

  13. Hi! i’m visiting from Magistramater’s blog–i love your reminder. i’m one of those who needs a picture in my head to really “get” something, and i’m one of those who’s definitely prone to depression. So the mental picture of me lifting up my soul, my heart, my hands to God as an act of loving obedience is perfect. Thanks for these words, i intend to hang onto them!

  14. Thank you. Just what I needed to hear as I finally got around to REALLY cleaning up the hidden fudge splatters and baked goods crumbs around my kitchen tonight. Alas, I still have the decorations to put away, but I can do it with a song in my heart to our Lord because of Christ and His mercy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *