When You Are Down in the Dumps
I get the sense that there is a huge case of the “down in the dumps” going around these days…so many things that we were looking forward to had to be cancelled…Proms, special events, Graduation, Vacations, Trips; even the things that we got to do had to be altered due to social distancing, isolation, economic hardships, health concerns compounded by the coronavirus.
to yourself - Don’t
We don’t get down in the dumps because of what happens to us in this broken world. We get down in the dumps because of what we say to ourselves about the things that happen to us. And the way to deal with that is to take control of the conversation that is constantly going on in our souls. Here’s how we do that…
- Long to be SATISFIED in God. v.1-2
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
What he’s saying in this verse is that spiritual thirst can only be satisfied by the living God. Everything else that we try to use as a substitute for God leaves us empty, hollow.
- Pour out your SOUL to God. v.3-4, 6-7, 9-10
When you read the lyrics of this song, you are listening to his attempt to get in touch with his feelings. You could say that he’s just being real about how he feels.
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
Past worship experiences inspire present prayer engagements…especially when those worship experiences were focused on the only worthy object of our worship…and that’s God.
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
His point is that there are times in our lives when it can feel like God has abandoned us and we’re all alone facing difficult circumstances. That’s exactly the time when we need to pour out our soul to God.
I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
You can hear the despair in his voice, can’t you? God, you’ve forgotten me. But I also hear faith in his voice…I say to God, my rock.
The reality is that it is impossible for God to forget. It is not impossible for us to think He has forgotten us. Big difference.
- Talk to yourself ABOUT God. v.5, 11
So, instead of listening to yourself…talk to yourself and make sure that what you say to yourself is focused on who God is, what He has done in your life and what He has promised to do in the future. That’s what this songwriter is doing in v.5…
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
FAITH WAITS FOR GOD TO ACT! And when He does act, we’re quick to give Him the credit.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
- Reorder your HOPE in God. v.8
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
God is faithful to His promises and there are signs of that daily. He gives us reason enough to sing even in the darkest of nights. When you see yourself headed down in the dumps, think about who God is and what He has done and what He’s promised to do. You reorder your hope in God.
Let’s talk about being down in the dumps…
- When are you most passionate in your pursuit of God (v.1-2)?
- What has this season of “social distancing” done to your desire to gather in worship?
- What kinds of things cause people to question our faith in God and the value of putting your faith in God (v.3)?
- Can you recall a time in worship that was significant or impactful in your life? What made that experience so significant to you (v.4)?
- What’s the difference between talking to yourself and listening to yourself (v.5)?
- What do you need to say to yourself to get out of the dump you may be experiencing right now?