4/7/16: Why So Downcast?
There are lots of things wrong with the world: nuclear proliferation, terrorists’ threats, the AIDS crisis, natural disasters, wars, racism, and social injustice 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, people are dying of cancer, and jobs are laying off employees. 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). David here is talking to his own soul, basically telling it to buck up! 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.
Africa Trip Update! What a blessing! A few donations have started to trickle in! Please consider sowing into this mission trip. Every dime you send will be used for the trip. Click this link: to go to the full request with instructions on how to give toward this amazing ministry opportunity!
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Links you won’t want to miss:
- Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network:
- Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
- A View from the Upper Room
from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv.
(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)
- Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!
- Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814
- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
Sharon’s other books still available: