“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you..” Psalms 42:5-6a NIVUK
Have you ever been “downcast”? In a place where your view of life is monochrome in a technicolour world? Where the negative and difficult issues of life are weighing heavily in your thoughts? Where even depression is affecting your mental health? The Psalmist who wrote these verses was himself not in a good place, with a downcast and disturbed soul. But he knew from his own experience of God that he needed to grab hold of three words – “remember”, “hope” and “praise”. The Psalmist had a personal relationship with God and through the experience of years of walking closely with Him he knew that by the application of these three words he would regain his mental stability and restore colour to his black and white world. Notice it is ok to be “downcast”. Life is like that. We can find ourselves in such a place frequently in life. I know a dear lady who even when recently given bad medical news, was able to remember, hope in and praise her wonderful Friend, altering her perspective for the future. She had found the key to living a life where circumstances were not going to affect her soul, no matter how bad the issues were.
There will be those who will say that I don’t know how bad their situation is. They will blame their upbringing, their mental health, their families and so on. They will say that not even God can lift them out of their circumstances. But there are Christians in North Korea, imprisoned, beaten, and tortured, but who can remain active in their faith, remembering, hoping in and praising their Saviour and their God. There is a lovely Christian man, Nick Vujicic, whose strap line has been, “I’ve no arms and legs – what’s your problem?” We all live in our own life bubbles, experiencing our own issues, facing into our own worlds, dealing with our own downcast souls. And God has provided all the resources we need through Jesus, who said, “I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10b NIVUK. I saw a bumper sticker today, “One Life, Live It”. Let’s live the life God has given us the Jesus way, full of God-memories, full of God-hope, and full of God-praise.