You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. (Psalm 3:3, NKJ)
Why do we need Jesus to lift us up? One magazine surveyed readers about grief and nearly 10,000 people responded. Many had lost a loved one years ago, but still felt a continual sense of misery. Many still dreamed about the one deceased or who deserted them. Few mourners felt that they had received adequate support. Many felt alone with their sadness most of the time. Some took one to two years after the loss to feel only partly normal. Many never went back to feeling like themselves after their agony.
The Bible often describes people who feel downcast, depressed, dejected, despairing, etc., and God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) coming alongside to restore their courage. Jesus, God’s Son, was Himself despised and rejected by others; Christ was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.1 So Jesus knows how we feel and He feels empathy for us. Christians are never alone when grief gets unbearable; the Son of God cares about us and helps us in hard times.
Even on ordinary days in this fallen world, we can feel our head hanging down, with heavy weights on our shoulders, draining life out of us. We feel discouraged, defeated, fearful, and worried. Sometimes King David felt that way until he realized: My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.2
David remembered that Jesus is the Creator and Ruler of the universe who stoops down to help His believers. One way Christ helps us is to reassure us that He is in charge of our lives and of all the details that dismay us. That helps us regain perspective and confidence in Christ. Jesus picks us up again and again so that we can stand up, throw our shoulders back, hold our heads up trusting Him, and press on despite our problems and cares. We can do all the duties we need to do through Christ who strengthens us, sharing His divine power with us.3
When I’m feeling downcast, I often sing a song taken from Psalm 3:3: My glory and the lifter of my head (2X). You, O Lord are shield for me. My glory and the lifter of my head.4
The Holy Spirit takes Bible truth and teaches our head, comforts our heart, and enables us to take obedient action to serve Him and His kingdom. That’s one way God works in our lives. He lovingly comes to us where we are and gives us a song or a Scripture to encourage us along life’s hard way, often through another Christian brother or sister.
The Apostle Paul received supernatural revelation from God and when Paul was downcast, the Lord sent Him also somebody “with skin on,” a flesh and blood fellow Christ follower. Paul writes: God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought….When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy!5 Paul who experienced exceptional direct fellowship with Christ also needed ministry from ordinary Christians to help him persevere.
Christ truly is our glory and the lifter of our heads! Praise Him for that!
Notes: 1 Isaiah 53:3. 2 Psalm 121:1-2 3 Phil 4:13; Isaiah 40:28-31. 4 Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. 5 2 Corinthians 7:6-7.