From the Pastor's Desktop
“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. 43:11 ESV
With what we see going on around us in the world, it is easy and perhaps even considered normal to complain about things, and to be downcast and depressed about the state of our world, or of something closer to home, things in our own lives. The psalmist recognized that, and encouraged the people to think higher, to remember whose they were, they belonged to God, and He was their salvation and their God. It harkens back to Psalm 23, where David wrote, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Or we could understand that to say, if the Lord is my shepherd, what more could I possibly need? Psalm 27 comes to mind as well, where David writes, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
All these verses are there to remind the reader that the LORD is sovereign over all these things, and if we are His, and we belong to Him, we have nothing to fear. I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of this from time to time. When we focus on the things that we see around us and take our eyes (spiritually speaking) off of Christ, like Peter when Jesus called him out of the boat to walk on the water, we begin to sink seeing these things as overwhelming. We are encouraged by the psalmist to remember that we belong to Him, and that He and His power is bigger than anything we will face, and that He is always watching over us.
This doesn’t mean that nothing difficult will ever come our way. Toward the end of John 16, as Jesus pours His final earthly instructions into them just prior to His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, He tells His disciples, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (some translations “trouble”). But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
Trouble, hardship, loss, and pain are part of life in this world. Until the Lord calls us home, that will be our experience. But Jesus reminds us, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” He created it; He holds it all together; and even though things will be difficult at points along the way in this life, He has a place prepared for us where these difficulties will cease. There will be no more sorrow or tears there, and no more pain.
Until He calls us home, let’s keep in mind, and perhaps gently remind one another that when we begin to get “cast down” to consider that our hope is in God, and He will not let us down. He is our salvation and our God.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen