Truth & Light for the Downcast Soul (Psalms 42-43)

When we are downcast we always respond poorly, which is why we need to grasp why we’re downcast, how to speak light and truth to our souls, and what it means to put one’s hope in God when life looks dim and bleak.

The writer of this pair of Psalms helps us understand the yearnings and opportunities of what takes place when our souls are downcast.

Message title: Truth & Light for the Downcast Soul (Psalms 42-43)
Fourth week in Summer Psalms
Scriptures: Psalms 42-43
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Date: 7/2/17

Listen or download:

Quotes:

“Look at Jesus. He was perfect, right? And yet he goes around crying all the time. He is always weeping, a man of sorrows. Do you know why? Because he is perfect. Because when you are not all absorbed in yourself, you can feel the sadness of the world. And therefore, what you actually have is that the joy of the Lord happens inside the sorrow. It doesn’t come after the sorrow. It doesn’t come after the uncontrollable weeping. The weeping drives you into the joy, it enhances the joy, and then the joy enables you to actually feel your grief without its sinking you. In other words, you are finally emotionally healthy.”
—Tim Keller, Walking With God Through Pain & Suffering

“God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.”
—Jonathan Edwards

The seventh chapter of the Story Catechism is about The Great Lie:

Unfortunately, Adam and Eve believed the lie.
Anytime we don’t trust in and believe in God that’s called sin.
When we sin, that’s called disobedience.
All of sin is rebellion.
But God’s grand design is love.

Additionally, Dr. David Murray (author of Christians Get Depressed Too: Hope and Help for Depressed Peoplewrote a brief blog post with some helpful advice for us all:

Many of us struggle with what to do when someone we know is depressed.

We want to help but fear, confusion, or misunderstanding holds us back.

Dr. Murray suggests eight guidelines for helping depressed people:

1. Prepare for it.

2. Don’t assume personal sin.

3. Measure the dimensions.

4. Don’t rush to or rule out medication.

5. Be holistic.

6. Involve family and friends.

7. Maintain spiritual disciplines.

8. Give hope.

  • Read Dr. Murray’s explanation of each point here.

Scripture readings:

Psalm 37:1-5 (ESV)

Of David.

37 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 38:9-12 (NLT)

You know what I long for, Lord;
    you hear my every sigh.
10 My heart beats wildly, my strength fails,
    and I am going blind.
11 My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease.
    Even my own family stands at a distance.
12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me.
    Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me.
    All day long they plan their treachery.

Psalm 39:4-7 (NLT)

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.

Psalm 42:1-11 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

42 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival.

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.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and 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 do I go mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 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 43:1-5 (ESV)

43 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

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.


Audio for this teaching may be played above, and is included in the RENEW Church podcastsubscribe in iTunes here, or access the church podcast feed directly here.

This year each of us is invited on an adventure to build an altar to God each new day, to look up and love our Creator first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.

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