This man was discouraged.  What he did will encourage you!

Sorry for the clickbait titles the last couple of days.  I get a kick out of them.

Yesterday, we examined the antidote to anxiety.  Today, we’ll look at the antidote for discouragement and despondency. 

The psalmist was going through some things.  He was being oppressed by his enemies.  They taunted him and mocked his God.  He was so discouraged that he said, My tears have been my food day and night (Psalm 42:3).

But in the midst of this exhaustion, the psalmist says in refrain,

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 – Psalm 42:5

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 42:11

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 43:5

The way the psalmist combatted his despondency is by 

1. Acknowledging that it’s inappropriate

We see this in the way that he asks the rhetorical question, Why are you cast down O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  What the implied answer is, “You shouldn’t be. You shouldn’t be downcast or in turmoil.”

Having acknowledged that he shouldn’t be downcast, he attacks it in a positive way by

2. Acknowledging God

The answer to discouragement is hope in God.  He is our salvation and God.  Implied in this is His sovereign reign over all the earth, including the psalmist’s enemies.  Our Lord is in the heavens.  He does whatever He pleases.  What can man do to me?

If you’re discouraged, know first of all that you’re not alone.  This psalm exists because you’re not alone. Secondly, know that there is a cure.  And that cure is to praise and trust the almighty God who is in total control of your situation, and will use it to your eternal good. 

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