[CF Devotionals] 2007-01-21 - Despair Not

Psalm 43:5, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God."

You may have noticed that the Psalmist closes Psalm 43 here with the same words he closes Psalm 42.

David Dickson gives us six things we can learn from this Psalm.

  1. The strongest believer may be overtaken with fits of dejection and discouragement, for this champion finds his soul cast down.

  2. A praying soul, believing in God through Christ, has no reason of dejection and discouragement, whatever reason of humiliation (sadness) he may have. Why are you downcast, O my soul?

  3. It is a sanctifying means for wrestling out of discouragement, to dispute (argue) misbelief to the door, or to dispute ourselves out of melancholy by reason taken from the Lord's word; and it is wisdom to get the conscience to be our friend, when the mind and the heart are in a wrong temper in this case; it is necessary to take God's part against misbelief, and unwarrantable unquietness, and to dispute both his cause and our own against temptations. Why so disturbed within me?

  4. No rest to a troubled and disquieted spirit, but by casting anchor on the Rock, and hoping in God. Put your hope in God.

  5. Hope cannot raise itself in trouble, but by the grip of a promise. Hope in God, for I will yet praise him.

  6. Though faith be in darkness, yet it will see afar off; as soon as it puts the prospect of the covenant of grace to its eye, it discerns the proper remedy of present evils to be in God, and the good it would be at, coming along unto it, and is as sure of it, as if it were in possession. My savior and my God.

I reproduced Dickson's thoughts on this verse because I like how he breaks apart the verse and shows how it develops. It is often the case where we are disquieted in our hearts, and it can be hard to know where to turn or what to do. As Dickson says, there is no rest for such a spirit but to anchor itself in the Rock, namely the Lord Jesus Christ. It is when we take our cares and turn them over to Christ that we find our cares placed in capable hands. It is when we hold firm to all our doubt and fears, and treasure them up in our hearts, that we can fall deeper and deeper into despair.

We are given sure comfort in Psalm 55:22 where we are told to, "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall." May the Lord give us the grace and strength to make Him our strength when we are downcast. May we rest in His tender care when it seems that the walls are closing in, and the roof is falling upon us. He alone can sustain us. He, as Psalm 43:5 tells us, is our hope. We may cast all our cares upon Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com