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Reading:                                      Psalm 42

(Verses 6-11)
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God
(NIV).

Reflection
Let’s face the truth. We all go through times when we are downcast. A few minutes ago my wife asked me, “Are you grumpy today?”

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Just after sunrise on Petrie Island — photo by David Kitz

I was surprised she noticed. I thought I had been hiding my downcast state quite well. After reflecting a moment I answered, “I guess I am.” Then I began to justify my grumpy mood. “It’s cold, windy and raining. Again! And my face feels numb and puffy from my visit to the dentist.”

What I didn’t say was that I was discouraged about my writing career. My literary agent may drop me as a client. Every news report I read seems to be filled with gloom and dire predictions. I have a backache, probably from stooping over a computer screen. And did I mention that this dreary weather feels interminable? Along with the psalmist, David, I can say, “My soul is downcast within me.”

But David didn’t stay wallowing in his pity party. He rallied through songs of worship and prayer. Hear his words, “By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.”

When I am discouraged—when you are discouraged—we can both do the same. We can turn to the LORD in song. I can pray to the God of my life—the God who knew me in my mother’s womb—the God who left His throne to rescue me. Why should I be downcast when Jesus cast himself down on my behalf? He was cast down so that through faith in him, I will be lifted up. 

Response: LORD God, I thank you for Jesus. I am thankful that he willingly laid down his life so that I could be forgiven and experience new life. I put my hope in my Savior and my God. Hallelujah! Amen.

Your Turn: What do you do when times of discouragement come? Do you turn to the Lord or from the Lord?