Why so downcast oh my soul

I want to take these next few moments, to offer you a new perspective. Do you realize that most of our unhappiness comes from mis-understanding our circumstances and from underestimating God’s love and resources?
Consider that God is ALWAYS testing hearts. (1 Thess 2:4) He is showing us “as we are” rather than as we think we are. Each time we pass through the fire, God looks at our hearts to see how much dross remains that requires His purifying fire.
Know this—Jesus will have a pure and spotless bride. My son told me that this summer the Lord had been showing him many things in his life that He wants to change. I told him, “He does this with all who belong to Him. I am 54 and he still doing the same work in my heart. If I should reach 64 or 74, God will still be purifying my heart.” The longer we walk with Him, the more we see ourselves as He sees us—and the more we know we need His purifying power.
A man wrote telling me that, as a financial manager, he resisted many of the things I shared about walking with the Lord in my writings. He didn’t want to believe he needed to commit his entire life to Jesus, rather than having Jesus as a “part” of his life. But, God had opened his eyes after the collapse of the economy and the loss of much of his wealth.
I wrote him back and told him that God had given Him a great gift—God had shown his heart as God saw it rather than as he imagined it. That is the best thing God can do for us because it opens our eyes to what is true and removes that which blinds us. When God does this in a life, He gives us the opportunity to either agree with Him and ask for His aid in purifying our hearts. Or we may resist Him and the work of His Spirit, and hold onto our vices and sins as we justify ourselves to ourselves.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what we say, does it? What really matters is what God says. If all the world says “white is black, and black is green, and purple is yellow,” what difference will it make if God says differently?
In the days of Martin Luther, he noted that if he spoke about every passage of the scripture EXCEPT the ones under attack, he should be considered a coward. In His day, the battle was between being saved by grace and being saved by works.
Today, most of the scriptures are under attack, and we have surely entered the day when men call good evil, and evil good. Do you doubt it? How many speak against the sins that the devil uses to drag millions into the torments and endless suffering of hell? How many will speak against fornication? How many will speak against homosexuality? How many will say what Jesus said—that to love the world is to hate God. How many warn against gathering up so much treasure while ignoring the suffering of those around us? Are we really so much different from the man who gathered up his wealth and put it into barns where he finally could rest and be satisfied? Didn’t Jesus say this man was a fool, because the very night His life was going to end.
For one moment, consider that the moment God calls your life “ over”, it will not matter one iota if you have ten cents or ten million dollars. Money is the most worthless of things in light of eternity.
When the Psalmist asks “Why are you so downcast, oh my soul,” I believe the writers are sharing the condition of many of our hearts.
We have been taught to pray for blessings, to follow certain principles and then blessings will come or to just obey all that God says and then blessings will surely be ours.
There are some kernels of truth in these things while they greatly flatter our desire for ease, comfort and wealth.
Yet, I would answer the Psalmist’s question, with another question. “What has caused you to be so downcast? What have you been seeking?” If we seek “things”, if we seek the “gifts” and “blessings” we have only the fruit of the tree. Would it not be better to have the tree itself?
As a parent, your children often seek you for “things”. As a good parent you try to provide for their needs, even if it costs you a great sacrifice to get them. But, inside of your heart, don’t you wish that they would seek to be close to you more than to possess he “things” you could give them—things that will soon be lost, forgotten or broken?
If we feel this way, wouldn’t God want this all the more. Wouldn’t He want us to seek MORE of His presence, rather than more of His blessings.
I challenge you to name another nation on earth, in the history of the earth, that has received more blessings than America—more personal wealth than most Americans—more natural resources and material wealth than us.
If we are downcast because of job losses, housing losses, loss of material wealth, it would seem we have a case for despair. However, we may have been given a gift that is wrapped in a painful package. The gift to see ourselves as God sees us, so that He may purify our hearts.
Even the Psalmist finally declares, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and God.” Psalms 42: 11)
Whatever is in our future, God has already been there. He has already prepared a way, and your soul will again praise Him. You are not alone and you are not forgotten. Take courage—the lives of many stand in the balance.