‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Psalm 42.5
Some of this psalm comes across a bit like a conversation between the different parts of a person! The writer is speaking to his soul and asking why it is so downcast.
There is something very real and honest about this. At times your mind may be aware of the love and presence of God, but there can be another part of you that is pulling you down and robbing you of the wonder of him. It may well be that you have gone through a particularly hard patch and that life has indeed dealt you a rough hand at this particular time. No wonder you can say with the writer of this psalm that your soul is downcast.
However, as he converses with his soul, and acknowledges its anguish, he also reminds himself of the way out - to trust in God. This is no idle cliché, for the reason he can hope is that God is his Saviour. The solution to feeling downcast is not seeking to pull your socks up or get over it in some way, but in the recognition that you have a Saviour who longs to save.
If your soul does feel downcast at the moment, don't feel bad because you think you ought to be rejoicing. Instead, find God’s presence and be honest with him about your situation. You will find he is not just a listening ear, but also a saving God.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission