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. Psalm 42:5
Years ago, I visited a counselor friend and we were talking about the unfortunate circumstances surrounding my life. Many situations were painful and quite mountain-like in size …. my mom had recently passed, finances were very low, my boys were toddlers (‘nough said) and a dear friendship was awkward and strained.
So much worry and grief.
But he pointed out something in Psalm 42 that I don’t believe I would have noticed if reading it alone.
My friend asked me, “Do you notice King David is talking TO his soul? As if it is another thing all together?”
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Well, look at that. He sure does.
King David is asking His soul a question. And then gives it instruction. Well. How about that?
Is it POSSIBLE that King David is on to something here? Maybe, just maybe, we don’t HAVE to be ruled by our circumstances and emotions!
Hallelujah! Praise be to God! This is good news, friends!!!!
Now, if you are a great theologian and have researched the difference between trichotomy, dichotomy and monism then to you I say, this blog post may greatly disappoint you, LOL. I am not one to debate, in great detail, the different theories and opinions on these three theological interpretations. Dr. Wayne Grudem has extensive online training and research on this and I strongly encourage you to seek this out if this intrigues you. Just throwing that out.
But for today, I am a middle-aged boy mom in Tennessee drinking from a Walmart coffee mug and writing a blog post in my pajamas… so I will leave the debate for much more qualified and smart people.
I am simply making the observation that reoccurs throughout Scripture…. We are ENCOURAGED to ENCOURAGE ourselves.
Yes. Even THE King David makes an observation about the seat of his emotions, His Soul, and then gives it a Word of encouragement…”Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
In Becky words… I hear David say, “Soul, I don’t know what YOU are doing…. But this is what I AM GOING TO DO. I am going to put my hope in GOD. I am going to fix my eyes on the ONE STABLE and SECURE thing I’ve got and PRAISE HIM. You do you. But I encourage you to listen up.”
Is your soul downcast today? Or as other versions say, Is your soul in despair? Restless? Disturbed? Depressed? Upset? Sad? Uproared? Dejected? Disquieted? In turmoil?
Then say to it… “Put your hope in God.”
I know many of us have reasons to have a disquieted soul….
- A big doctor’s appointment today
- An upcoming trip to see a prodigal son
- An approaching visit from a difficult family member
- A huge career change ahead
- A battle with chronic fatigue
- A newfound discontentment with your living situation
(Oh, and then of course, the fact we are ALL in the midst of a National Pandemic. There’s that.)
But thank GOD we aren’t left to our emotions or circumstances. Here are some additional words of encouragement to say to our restless souls:
- The LORD is my light and my salvation
- God is my strength in time of trouble
- With God all things are possible
- My inward man is being renewed day by day
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
- God gives me power and of love and of a sound mind
- God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble.
Before you go another step, ask your soul…. “Are you downcast today?” And if you get a yes, then speak some truth. Encourage yourself and fix your eyes to the ONE true Savior and give Him some praise.
- Spend some time talking to the Lord about the circumstances causing your soul turmoil. God’s desire is for you to have peace! I encourage you to make a trade with Him, today. Cast your anxiety on Him, because HE CARES FOR YOU. 1 Peter 5:7.
- Of the above truths, which speaks to your soul the most? Say it, even out loud, so your soul can hear your voice! For example, “Soul… Why are you downcast? God is our strength! God gives POWER and LOVE and gives us a SOUND MIND!”
- Here are the Scripture references for the above encouragements if you want to dig deeper still: Psalm 27:1; Psalm 37:39; Psalm 138:3; Matthew 19:26; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Philippians 4:13; 2 Timothy 1:7; Psalm 46:1