“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.” (Psalm 42:11)
In the broken world that we live in, I would assume that some of us are struggling with a soul that feels cast down. Life is no cake walk, and it throws us curveballs that can send us in a downward spiral. The psalmist knew this reality. He also had a remedy for this reality. Instead of letting his soul stay downcast, he was giving it a shot of godly medicine. Let us join him today!
If you find yourself with a weary soul, let’s first start by saying that today starts a new week. Today is a new day that is filled with new mercies from the God of heaven (Lamentations 3:22-23). Whatever happened yesterday, or even last week, is in the rear view. Lay last week at the feet of Jesus and press into the mercies that He has provided for today. A downcast soul may have been your reality last week, but it has no authority to take up residence this week!
So do not dwell on what held you down last week. Know that the Lord is for you and that He is pushing you forward this week. We must start here. Next, just like the psalmist, we need to talk to our souls. He starts by asking his soul why it is cast down and in turmoil within him. Then, he tells his soul what it should be doing. Let’s look at the second half of the verse to discover three things we can do this week to lift our souls out of a downcast state.
1.) Hope in God
“Hope in God, O my soul!” What were you hoping in last week that left you cast down? Worldly things will let you down every single time. Hope outside of God is no hope at all. Empty hope leaves us in an empty state, which leads us to a downcast soul. When our hope is in God, however, we are no longer in that empty state. Our souls explode with joy and have no ability to be downcast. This hope can endure the curveballs that life throws at us. Say to your soul, “Hope in God!”
2.) Praise Him
“Praise Him, O my soul!” It is so easy to praise God when things are going remarkably smooth, is it not? We have no problem being on fire for the Lord when everything is going right. How about when your soul is cast down? The key to unlocking a depressive soul is to praise God when the walls cave in. The psalmist took the mindset of praising God anyways. He wasn’t waiting for the sun to shine. You have breath in your lungs. You have been given a new day. Use that breath and that new day to praise God! Say to your soul, “I shall again praise Him!”
3.) Remember your salvation
“You are saved, O my soul!” The psalmist calls God his salvation. Oh, how much more joy we would have if we would continually remember our salvation! A soul that continually recognizes the miracle of its salvation will stay in a thankful state. Do you remember your days before God saved your soul through His Son? Think about the dark state of that reality in comparison to what has left your soul feeling downcast now. The two do not compare! A life outside of Christ is much darker, scarier, and more depressive than anything the world can throw at you once you have been saved! Never forget it! Say to your soul, “You have been saved! You were once dead, but now you are alive!”
Press on this week, brother or sister. This is a new day and a new week. God’s mercies are fresh today, and they are all that you need. Do not dwell on what has kept you down. Find your joy again. Hope in God! Praise Him! Remember your salvation! Ask your soul why it is so cast down. Then, tell it what to do next. Say to your soul, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”