A Call To The Remnant

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Why so Downcast Oh my Soul

Posted by appolus on July 17, 2008

Are you downcast today? Has the troubles of life, the trials of circumstances mounted up and overwhelmed you? Are you wandering in a spiritual wilderness? Perhaps you even feel abandoned by God?



O my God, my soul is cast down within me.” (Psalm 42)

Are you downcast today? Has the troubles of life, the trials of circumstances mounted up and overwhelmed you? Are you wandering in a spiritual wilderness? Perhaps you even feel abandoned by God?

Psalm 42 was written by the “Sons of Korah,” a musical family descended from the priest who had led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron(Num 16). The family of Korah had been the premier worship leaders for hundreds of years after this incident.

It is comforting to know that even after such a rebellion against the will of God that there was restoration for this family and they were used mightily by God. When this psalm was written, the psalmist was in exile far from the Temple in Jerusalem. The temple of course has been the center of worship and where the shekinah glory of the living God was experienced by the multitudes of worshippers. Now the psalmist was deeply longing for this experience, to worship in the presence of God.

Do you deeply long for it today? Has the multitude of your troubles somehow separated you from the presence of the living God?Is the only water you are experiencing right now the tears that fall in the shadows of the night, the darkness of your situation?

The psalmist uses an unusually expressive term “As the deep pants for the waterbrooks so my soul longeth after you, oh my God.” God bless you today if your “soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

My youngest son is named Daniel, as most of you know he has Down Syndrome. He also had other troubles which required more than one major surgery. One night as I drove home from the hospital, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation.

It all just came crashing down on me and I wept, uncontrollably. And in the midst of my wracked sobs, the presence of the Lord filled the car and His hand lifted my chin up and He said to me “Frank, why is your soul so downcast, put your trust in me.”

There is a term amongst shepherds called “casting.” It refers to a sheep on its back. If a sheep falls onto its back, it does not have the ability to get upright again. The blood will begin to drain from the sheep’s legs, and the weight of its body will press down upon its lungs and it will begin to suffocate. It will slowly die.

Perhaps you feel like your on your back today? You do not have the ability to get up again. The situation and circumstances are outwith your control. You do not feel the presence of God, you feel alone and isolated, the joy is gone and you have lost you “song in the night.”

Let me tell you what the shepherd does when He comes upon a “downcast ,” sheep. First of all He begins to rub their legs to bring some of the blood back,get the circulation going a bit. Then He takes one hand and grabs the two back legs, then the other hand and grabs the two front legs and hoists the sheep up and over His head and around His neck. He then carries the sheep until it has recovered and only then does He put it back down on the ground.

This is a perfect illustration of what the Lord will do for those who cry out to Him. The sheep that are “downcast,” on their backs are found not because they are silent, but because they cry out with all the strength left in them so that the shepherd might hear them.

If you are downcast today brothers and sisters, cry out to the Lord with all the strength that you have left in you. Remember the days when you “used to go with the multitude:I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise.” I pray that today is the day that your joy returns, that you will have your song in the night.

Even in the midst of darkness, may your joy be complete in Him. The good shepherd of our souls who would take your chin this day, very gently and say “why so downcast,” my child, “put your trust in me.” I will lift you from this place and put you on my back awhile for when you walk with me my yoke is easy and my burden it is light and you will find rest for your soul.”

The Ninety and Nine

By Elizabeth C. Celphane (1868)

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold,
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold,
Away on the mountains wild and bare,
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care,
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?
But the Shepherd made an answer:
“This of mine has wandered away from Me,
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find my sheep,
I go to the desert to find my sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night
That the Lord passed thro’
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die,
Sick and helpless and ready to die.

Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way,
That mark out the mountain’s track?
They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.
Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?
They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn,
They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn.

But all thro’ the mountains, thunder riv’n,
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heav’n:
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own,
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

12 Responses to “Why so Downcast Oh my Soul”

  1. Ev. Duane Williams said

    I happen to know for a fact that Todd Bentley is a violent child molester who used a baseball bat on a little boy’s face to keep him from coming forward with the vile things Bentley did to him. The one case that’s been made public is only one of countless children he’s sexually assaulted, but many parents were afraid to come forward because of physical intimidation by Bentley. Now he tells the parents of terminally ill children to leave them alone with him so he can “do his work” in private. Is there any way we can contact the Florida authorities to at least keep this demon on a short leash?

  2. appolus said

    I think that if you have facts on anyone who has committed a crime then you should contact the police. A phonecall to the Lakeland police should do it…….Frank

  3. timbob said

    Greetings. I was just reading Psalm 42 and even used verses 7 and 8 in a post. I can be easy to be overwhelmed by circumstances. Our oldest son is autistic and he presents challenges that most people cannot begin to imagine. Yet God knows the situation completely and while it may seem overwhelming to us, he has it all under control.

    Have a most blessed day in Jesus.


  4. timbob said

    Hello again. I just read a post that touches on some things that have been on my heart for months; particularly the need for each of us to seek the will of the Lord as individuals and not rely on the words of others. It’s at http://mikeboldea.blogspot.com/2008/07/sanctuary.html I normally don’t p[lace links in other peoples comment section, but was compelled to make an exception with this one.

    Blessings always in Jesus


  5. appolus said

    HI Timbob….please feel free to leave any link you want 🙂 I appreciate you stopping by and I appreciate your comments. I know many autistic kids since Daniel is in the special needs community. God bless you brother, I think you would probably agree that our special needs children have brought us into a closer, deeper walk with the Lord, just out of neccesity. We are compelled to depend upon the Lord. …………..Frank

  6. I am just finding this doay as I searched for the “downcast” reference. What a blessing your post is to me. The illustration of the sheep on it’s back and the shepherd rubbing it’s legs, picking it up until it’s ready to be put back on the ground again – is just what I needed to hear this day. Thank you. Truly. May you be blessed beyond all you can ask or think!

  7. appolus said

    HI Cheryl…thanks for dropping by. I am blessed to know that you were blessed. He is a wonderful God and we are never tempted more than we are able…………Frank

  8. Bless said

    hi… i just asked myself,”oh my soul why are you downcast?” then typed it in the search engine and found this. I’m not in a critical situation but i’m in a point where i’m losing direction, facing crossroads… When i was younger, i had a lot of dreams and visions then now that i’m 20, all of the sudden, it’s like everything seems unclear. Lately, i feel stagnated in my spiritual life. I know God has a purpose for this according to Romans 8:28. However, i’m still losing sight…

    Anyways, thanks for the messages, it’s so inspiring… thanks for reminding me that God is my shepherd- the good shepherd (^^,)

    • appolus said

      Hi Shikirah, thanks for dropping by. I see that you have a heart to follow hard after God. You say that you are 20 wich means that you are very young and have a whole life that stretches out before you. There are many ways of describing your walk with the Lord. One can say that we “go through seasons.” So, there would be spring, a very pleasant time of the year, followed by summer which can start of nice but then get very hot and humid and the rain dose not fall. The we move into Fal which is such a beautiful time after the hot nsummer months. Then comes winter which can be very dark and bitterly cold. In winter trees lose all of their foliage. Everything that beautifies the tree is stripped away and only the bare tree is left. Yet, this is the time of the year that a tree actually grows. All the sap goes into the growing of the tree itself when it is unencombered by the leaves and also the roots go deeper which prepares it for the spring storms. If you close your eys and think of the map of America. Right in the center is a town called Independance where many of the wagon trains used to leave back in the 1800s as they headed of to the West coast. Now, they had to travel through many States on their way to the coast. Each had different geological challenges, but they had to be passed through if one was going to reach California. Imagine each of these States as a challenge in your life. God has to take you through these on your journey home. You part is to keep walking, keep believing, keep praising God whether you feel Him or not, whether you dream dreams or see visions or not. For you see Shekirah, God must be glorified in your life whether you ever see another vision or hear from Him again. Job says “even if He slay me , yet will I trust Him.” You see, this is the highest expression of faith a follower of Jesus can make. Once you make it though all the States and pass over the mountains you finally find yourself at the sea in your walk with the Lord. Now we call the sea he Pcific, but imagine that the sea is called dependence. So, you have travelled from Independence to dependence and then you must cast yourself upon this sea, even although there will be no more maps. Jesus will be on a ship urging you top set sail and we must respond. Too many Christians set up camp along the oceaon. They have went so far and they will go no further. Anway little sister, that is an anology of your walk in this life with Jesus. You could be anywhere along the way. What I do know is this, that when we seek to glorify Him and we keep on walking, despite circumstaces, then we meet Him again. You will dream dreams again, you will come into HIs presence again, you will see clearly again, yet that is not why we praise Him or live our lives for Him, we do it because He is worthy to be followed, worthy to be praised and we know that He is the author and the finisher of our faith. He has mapped out a plan for your life and your sole task is to follow that plan and to seek His face as you do. Waiting will be a major , and the hardest, part of your walk. Endure all things patiently Shekirah, waith upon the Lord and you will be renewed. How long? He knows………………….Frank
      PS I am assuming that you have examined your life to make sure that there is nothing that you do that would quench His Spirit? Once you have done this, do not revisit it, wait patiently

      • Bless said

        Thank you so much for the message.

        by the way, my name is Bhlessa (Bless). My father was a pastor before. He’s not a backslider but he’s maybe in a winter season. ^^

        And… I’m a Filipino. I’m from the Philippines but i understand the analogy…

        One thing that has ’caused my “depression” lately is the situation of my country. I think God is shaking our nation. There was a flood two weeks ago and it killed nearly 500 people except for the missing ones… Then few days later, we had typhoon that took hundreds of lives again… in my hometown, there were a lot landslide, houses buried, roads washed out isolating our city from the other parts of the country… until now, there are places still submerged in water because of the heavy and nonstop rainful during the last two weeks.

        Well, i know every nation has its own issues but i’m really burdened about my country… I feel like we’re so down and hopeless ’cause aside from these calamities, we have serious issues on graft and corruption in the government, rebellion, terrorism and everything… don’t know what to do to make a change aside from prayer…

        Anyway, no matter what happens, i know that God is in control… He still loves my country…

  9. appolus said

    Hi Bless,

    It seems that you have a deep burden for your country. This may be your calling, you may be called to be an inteccesor, one of the toughest postions in the church I believe. It comes with burden obviously. Turns these burdens every nifght into prayer, intercede on behalf of your country. Your country has deep spiritual obstacles that only prayer can overcome. I am originally from the Lowlands in Scotland, and my own country has many problems and for all intents and purposes it is spiritually dead with just a few pockets here and there. One of your country’s major problems, I believe, is the depths of Catholicism there. This is a very strong spirit to break through, yet we say “Behold the Lamb of God that taket away the sins of the world.” I will pray for your father as he goes through his winter season. These are very lonely and isolating times for Christians. Yet every Christian will have a “dark night of the soul,” where everything comes against them in an effort to was them away in a flood and in a storm. You , obviously, can see the physical results of devastating floods and storms,and yet the floods and storms that threaten the souls are no less dangerous or deadly. Yet we know that Jesus is the author and the finisher of our faith. When things were at their worse for Job his wife gives him this advice “curse God and die.” He would not, despite his dire situation and God restored him in due time. What an honor it would be for God to say to the accuser of the saints “have you considerd my servent “Bless.” Be of good cheer Bless, for Jesus has overcame the word, therefore we shall too………………Frank

  10. Jim Olson said

    Great explanation of the idea of being downcast like a sheep. Thanks!

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