Spirit and Soul

Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?

“Why, my soul, are you cast down? Why do you groan within me? Wait for God; I will yet thank Him. For He is my deliverance and my God.” ~ Psalm 42:11

When your very soul is bowed down under the weight of life’s burdens, when you are full of tumultuous chaos, rage or anguish, the path forward out of that deep, inner pain is to worship God. It’ll probably be the last thing you want to do in those moments, but it should be your very first response in all season of life. Why? Because worship is entirely God-centered. Worship redirects your mind and spirit away from your problems and fixes them onto the Lord, our Problem Solver. Will that make your problems go away? No, probably not! So, why make praising the Lord your number one priority when times are tough?

The Psalmist wrote, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I will yet give Him thanks…” (Psalm 43:5) Sometimes praising the Lord isn’t about, well, praising the Lord, but is more about defying Satan, crucifying the flesh and fighting your way to victory, by ministering the Lord! That is the essence of the sacrifice of praise! A lifestyle of praise is one that is built through spiritual discipline and time spent in the presence of God in worship, and it creates a spiritual, instinctive response to turn to the Lord for strength when everything blows up in your face in the natural realm.

Psalm 22:3 says that the Lord dwells within the praise of His people. That is where you need to remain- in His powerful, miracle-working presence, ministering to Him. Psalm 16:11 says that “in His presence is fullness of joy” and Nehemiah 8:10 says “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

When You’re Downcast in Your Soul, There is Hope to Lift You Up

When your soul is broken, the enemy will try to keep you snared inside of your emotions and feelings. He will try to drag you into the weeds of “what if”, and he will tempt you to create your own reality through a negative confession, when God is the ultimate Creator and He is only Lord over what HE creates. If you insist on creating your own realities through vain imaginings and evil forbodings, you will have the burden of bearing that weight on your own. Praise is at its most powerful and effective when your soul is downcast because that is your sacrifice. Even a sad sacrifice is still a sacrifice of praise!

In His presence is all you need, including joy to sustain you until His work in your problems is complete. He will breakthrough with deliverance on your behalf, honoring your sacrifice. When you least feel like it in your emotions, that is when it is the most vital to worship with your greatest passion, setting aside everything else, sacrificing it, to worship Him.

When you least feel like it in your emotions, that is when it is the most vital to worship with your greatest passion, setting aside everything else, sacrificing it, to worship Him

~Alicia Purdy

Even Satan knows that in the presence of God is the strength you need. That’s why he doesn’t want you there!! And that’s why you must run there, crawl, drag yourself. In His presence is His power, so get into His presence and don’t leave. Thanksgiving will get you there. In Psalm 42:5, the Psalmist wrote these incredible, powerful words of hope for the downcast soul: “I will yet thank Him”– meaning that his answer had not “yet” arrived and at the same time, he knew a fresh reason to worship with thanksgiving was on its way. His faith was proven by his worship and anticipation that God was coming to help, coming with an answer, coming to rescue, protect, provide and fight even while he groaned for the manifestation of that promised deliverance. If your soul is downcast, or if you’re walking through a dark valley, there is hope. How will it all work out? I don’t know! But I do know that praise will be part of the winning plan!

Thought for today: The Downcast Soul Must Lift the Lord High

Life will have its ups and downs. In Psalm 90:10, Moses wrote, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” There will come times when you experience seasons of being downcast, but remember that when life is bad- worship a good God! Do you really trust the Lord? The fallen condition of the world will bring its miseries, but we have hope through Jesus Christ. The Lord has not left you weaponless on this earth. You have the tools you need to walk in victory. But the essence of victory is that it is defined by battles. So, become a master at fighting with the weapons you have. Praise the Lord! Draw close to Him. Dwell in His presence. The harder it gets, the harder you worship. That is how worship wins wars- because the battle is within you and the victory will be too, before you can fight the ones outside of you. God is faithful!

Notice I didn’t say “don’t be downcast”. We all experience it. Here’s the point: Don’t STAY downcast! “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4) Hide yourself in the presence of the Lord when the storms rage around you by worshipping. His presence is the safest place for the soul, and “Forget not His benefits”. Stir your faith! The enemy will try to distract your focus and keep you fixated on how you feel. Don’t buy the lie! Look to Him alone. He’s the only One who can rescue you- and He will.

Build a Firm Foundation on the Worship of the God Who is Able:

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Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!

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