A DOWNCAST SOUL
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
This verse is very significant in teaching the proper response to the despondent (cast down) soul of a believer. It is repeated word for word three times (a significant number) in Psalm 43:5, 43:11 and 44:5.
I like the easily understood rendition of the NIV of these three verses, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior, and my God.”
Have you ever felt “down in the dumps?” Or in despair? Feeling at a loss? Or that something has slipped away? Depressed? What is the remedy?
The verses give you the key. Look to God and begin to praise him. You might say “I don’t feel like praising him” or simply “I can’t praise him.” I understand that, but that is why it is called in Hebrews 13:15, “the sacrifice of praise,” because a sacrifice is not easy. But if you choose to make that sacrifice (a choice of your will, your soul), you will find that it makes a remarkable difference. God responds to your praise because he cherishes it.
How powerful is praise? Psalm 149:6 says, “Let the high praises of God be in (your mouth) and (as) a two-edged sword in (your) hand.” Verses 7-9 go on to say that it destroys every device of Satan that tries to bring you down: despondence, depression, despair, self-doubt, discouragement, the downcast feeling.
You must trust the Lord and praise him whether or not you understand it.
“Praise him, praise him, Jesus our blessed Redeemer. Sing, O earth, his wonderful love proclaim.” These are words of a hymn we used to sing in church. Daily let us praise him!
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