4/7/16: Why So Downcast?

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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.

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©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.

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~ by sanewriter on April 7, 2016.

One Response to “4/7/16: Why So Downcast?”

  1. Sometimes when my spirit is downcast, I step back and examine why I am feeling downcast. More often than not, it is because I am dwelling on who I am and not whose I am. As a Christian pursuing a deep abiding relationship with God each day, I find incredible joy and peace knowing that I am a child of God. Knowing this, I am reassured throughout the Bible that I will never be forsaken by God: Father; Son-Jesus Christ; or the Holy Spirit. Relevant Old Testament Scriptures include: Gen 28: 15; Dt 31: 6; Josh 1: 5; 1 Ch 28: 20; 2 Ch 15: 2; Ps 27: 10; A beautiful summary, of these passages of Scripture is found in Hebrews 13: 5-8: (NIV): “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In addition, following Pentecost, God the Father set the Holy Spirit to indwell all those who believe that Jesus Christ is who He says that He is and follow Him as Lord and Savior.(Acts 2: 1-13). The promises fulfilled when Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to His followers is detailed in John 14: 15-21. Ponder additional related Scripture: John 14: 22-28 and John 16: 3,17.

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