STOP the Merry-Go-Round

March 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

Do you ever find you’re talking to yourself? The saying goes, that it’s okay as long as you don’t answer. Well, I think you should answer, and sometimes with a big and resounding STOP! I’m sure you are familiar with the times when that negative voice within just won’t shut up. It seems you’re on a merry-go-round of negative thoughts and don’t know how to get off. The thoughts just keep coming and you are becoming more and more discouraged and despondent. This is when you need to not just talk to yourself, but instead shout, “STOP, I’m getting off this thing.” That will break the cycle, but then you need to follow with steps in a new direction. If you don’t, you’ll end up back on that thing. Begin talking to yourself and take your mind to a new place. Sounds like pop-psychology and not sound biblical counsel?

King David was battling the feelings of depression when he wrote these words. He fought those feelings by reminding himself to be hopeful. David knew God was faithful and He was bigger than any problem David faced. Yet, those overwhelming feelings of depression and discouragement still enveloped him. David fought back by talking to himself. He told himself to look up; though things were bad he had reason to hold onto hope. He told himself to hold onto that hope by looking expectantly for God to do something, and to praise Him while he was waiting. Doesn’t sound like pop-psychology to me, does it to you?

PRAYER: Thank You for being with me in even the darkest of days. Help me to stop the merry-go-round by clinging to the hope I have in You.

“My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,  “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:3-5 NIV).

Today’s devotion is by Cheri Cowell, who writes and speaks on the deep questions of faith. You can learn about her speaking ministry and sign up to receive her daily devotional at

About Cheri Cowell

Cheri Cowell is the author of the new Bible study, Parables and Word Pictures of the New Testament: Following God series


6 Responses to “STOP the Merry-Go-Round”
  1. Lori Lipsky says:

    I found encouragement in your point here, Cheri. I look forward to studying and memorizing the passage. Thanks for pointing me toward it in a fresh way.

  2. Susan Dollyhigh says:

    Cheri, thanks for this beautiful reminder that we are to worship and praise God even when our soul is downcast.

  3. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    This is the best idea of “self-talk,” Cheri! Speaking God’s Word to ourselves. Thank you!

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