Why Art Thou Cast Down?

When you're struggling with sadness or depression, do you immediately turn to the Psalms? It's one of the most comforting and uplifting books of the Bible, where we can find answers and encouragement for the day.

Reading along through the Psalms recently, I came across a verse that I know by heart, but it shone in a new light this time.

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. Psalm 42:5

I've turned to the Psalms for peace in my very soul, and this verse tells me I shouldn't be that way to begin with!

Imagine David sitting down to have a heart-to-heart conversation with his own soul. He knows he shouldn't be brought down low — you know that very felling, right? — because of the mighty God he serves. He questions his soul about where this feeling came from because it isn't from a holy place.

Then he explains the two reasons his soul should be glad today: hope and praise.

If we're hoping in the Lord — really believing in His guiding hand — we have nothing to be down about. Depression has no place in a heart that believes God has a perfect plan for our lives. Where there is hope, there is joy. And where there is joy, there is praise.

If we're praising the Lord for all He has done for us, we'll be too busy to be discouraged. Right this moment, I challenge you to think of five ways God has blessed you in the past hour. If this doesn't come easily, I encourage you to do this every hour on the hour until it does. 

With the renewing of the mind to focus on God instead of self, sadness and depression have no more room. They get pushed out of our heart, soul and mind by peace and joy and hope. Then come the praises that are a delight to God's ear. 

His countenance, His favor upon us, is a blessing beyond measure and a help in the worst of times. With this precious gift shining every day, we have no reason to be down and out — we'll be too busy shouting His praises and thanking Him for all He's done.

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