“Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled?
I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my saviour and my God”.
Ps 42:5 GNB
People have different temperaments. Some seem to be permanently happy and disappointments never seem to get them down. Others seem to be the opposite – they are never able to manage a positive thought or sentiment. Most of us are sometimes up and sometimes down. But we have different levels at which outer adversity knocks us sideways.
The man in Psalm 42 was in an unhappy state of mind, but that was not his permanent mental frame. Possibly illness – or some other calamity – had driven him to take refuge on the lower slopes of Mount Hermon. But even there, people arrived to compound the unhappiness he was going through. He wanted to leave behind the problem and move on. So he wobbled between feeling sorry for himself and telling himself to “snap out of it”. But it was more than a matter of moods. Inside him a conflict was raging between faith and despair. So he didn’t tell himself, in our way of speaking, to “snap out of it”. He told himself to hope in God. That was the point at which his faith kicked in. It (his faith) told him that God was still the same and that he could be relied on – he would one day bring him back to joy and gladness again.
When you are feeling down, and there are plenty of legitimate reasons to feel down, remember your faith, turn to Christ, and let him lead you out of your “downness” into hope and praise. That’s a good place to start – with praise.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, lift me up when I am down – and keep me up.