1-11-14: Why So Downcast?

#HeartForTheWord

There are lots of things wrong with the world: nuclear proliferation, terrorists’ threats, the AIDS crisis, natural disasters, wars, and the recession just to name a few. There are even lots of depressing things that happen to us individually: people are losing their jobs and homes, life savings and pensions were lost or severely lessened when Wall Street and major banks collapsed, highly educated and capable university graduates can’t find jobs in their field, my friend’s mother is dying of a brain tumor, and many Christian schools are closing. Perhaps you know of a wayward child, are dealing with a health challenge, or owe more taxes than you anticipated. This list could go on and on about how miserable life can get.

In the face of all we could legitimately complain about, the Psalmist has an appropriate word for us. Psalm 42:5 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (NKJ). Sure, Christians have feelings. Mourning the loss of a loved one and being concerned about troubling matters have their time and place; however, we can never forget that we are held by the One who is in ultimate control of it all. If we know that to be true, our actions and reactions should bear that out.

When troubles arise, we must take the three-step anti-depressant the Psalmist gives us here.

* Step one: Ask ourselves the question the Psalmist asks, “Why am I so downcast?”

* Step two: Encourage ourselves as the Psalmist does. “I have a God in whom I can hope.”

* Step three: Praise God in spite of the circumstances as the Psalmist determines to do. “I will praise God because I know He’s looking out for me to help me through this.”

The Hebrew word for ‘praise’ used here is ‘yadah’ which means “to use or hold out the hand; physically, to throw a stone or an arrow at or away; especially to revere or worship with extended hands, to shoot (up) thanksgiving.” We can do very little about the pressing problems of the world, and lots of times we can’t change the personal pressures we face either. We may as well take the Psalmist’s spiritual anti-depressant and throw our hands up in praise to the Master who is able to do something about every situation. Worship the One who helps us through.

___________________________

©2010, 2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including the copyright line. For all devotions, comments, and questions, log onto Sharon’s blog at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.

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~ by sanewriter on January 12, 2014.

2 Responses to “1-11-14: Why So Downcast?”

  1. Sharon, read this before retiring. Saddened to read about the school closing. Praying for you. Love, Marilyn

  2. Well said!!! Too often we forget about who’s really in charge! Surprised to hear about the school closing .. God has a phenomenal plan – of that I am sure .., Last year after I retired from the bank God opening some amazing financial opportunities for me … Stay in touch!!!

    Thanks!!!

    Ivy H Bennett Sent from my iPhone

    >

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