Message: “Stirred but Not Shaken” – Austin Parkhurst

Sunday, February 24th, 2019



Psalm 55:1-7, 16-18


The term “gaslighting” has been in the media a fair amount lately. If you’re not familiar with its meaning, it’s a form of subtle and persistent manipulation that causes the victim to question themselves and ultimately lose their sense of reality.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. The abuser spins their poisonous words and deeds in their favor, constantly deflecting blame and pointing the finger at their victim. It’s a common tactic for abusers and narcissists to keep you from leaving them, fighting back, or telling others what’s happening. They say things like, “You're too sensitive,” “You're just paranoid,” or “You’re misinterpreting what I said.” As a result, you begin to question everything, and the line between facts and feelings starts to blur.

Ask any mental health professional, and they’ll tell you feelings are gauges, not guides. Just because you feel a certain way doesn’t make it so - you can be sincere, and still be sincerely wrong. That’s why Paul cautions us in Romans, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.”

Instead of trusting feelings, focus on what we know to be true:

•    God loves us – John 3:16

•    God saves us – Ephesians 2:8

•    God cares for us – Deuteronomy 3:22

•    God is in control – Romans 8:28

•    God has a plan for us – Jeremiah 29:11

•    God is preparing a place for us - John 14:2

C.S. Lewis said it best, “Though our feelings come and go, God's love for us does not.”


David writes this Psalm while "in a valley". He's on the run from a rebellion and revolt led by his son, Absalom, who has betrayed him. David, a man after God's own heart, is shaken and anxious. Verse 4 will be a large focus of the bulk of the message. David says, "My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me." He's a man who knows of the promises of God, often a recipient of them. But he's writing from the other place.

You have to face what you’re fighting.

It's easy for us to say, "Have faith. Trust in God's promises!" But what about when we're in the valley? How do we make it through the moments where we're overwhelmed with anxiety or crippled by a broken heart? 

God works most in your brokenness.

You can’t look to the hills for help unless you’re in the valley.