“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 42:5-6 ESV
A downcast soul is a result of looking at externals and finding our hope and satisfaction in them, rather than in God.
A downcast soul is a result of looking at externals and finding our hope and satisfaction in them. Rather than being dictated by the Holy Spirit, we drift from His speaking and peace. When we begin to compete with others and envy what they have, our soul becomes downcast. When we desire external things more than God, idolatry sets in. This idolatry seeks to fill what only God can provide. Due to this, we become downcast. Whether the feeling of our idolatry is fulfilled or goes unfulfilled, we are left with the same downcast feeling.
Not only in our bad desires and wants do we become downcast, but we may also become downcast when everything is going perfect. When there are no difficulties or tough times, we can become extremely upset and discouraged. The reason for this is due to a decrease in our tendency of seeking God. For when things are good, our subconscious mind may think, “why do I need God? All is well.”
When this occurs, the love we once used to have for God grows cold. We become satisfied with the way things are and our spiritual growth begins to decline. Before we recognize it, we have lost much time in developing our relationship with God. When this occurs, it is a travesty.
The only reason we may understand our lack of seeking God, therefore, is through a downcast soul. That is why the Psalmist says, “I shall again praise Him.” We cannot praise God unless we are seeking God. Without seeking God, we do not recognize the things worth praising Him.
We must never grow cold to the things of God, but forever abound in His Word and work.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2 ESV). We must never fall into a state of complacency. We must always have God before us in thought, word, action, and deed. We must never grow cold to the things of God, but forever abound in His Word and work.
Though a downcast soul is mostly due to what has been said above, there still remains another reason. The soul in its different phases will experience downcast. Even when the pursuit of God is pure and harmonious throughout one’s life, we shall experience times of immense discouragement. We ask ourselves, “Why do I feel this way? I have God. I have a loving family. I have been blessed. Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
It is during these phases where our soul cries to be Home. It yearns and longs to return to that blessed place from where it came. It desires to be free from this world and all the pollution that comes with it. It desires to fall into the cloud of God’s Spirit and forever rest there.
Whether we know it or not, our soul simply longs to be with God.
This is why the soul becomes downcast when everything is right (to the extent that everything can be) in our lives. We simply long to be with God and only God. We desire freedom from captivity, distractions, and temptations. For the more we mature in the faith, the less we become enthralled with the entertainment of the day.
Entertainment damages the soul from its full rest and peace in God.
For entertainment damages the soul from its full rest and peace in God. Even when the need for entertainment decreases in our lives, the reason for our downcast soul may be found in the groanings of the Holy Spirit within us. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:25-26 ESV).
Our soul is in a continual state of hoping for what it cannot see. The Holy Spirit helps to guide the prayer in the hidden language that is silent to the hearing ear, but is heard amongst the Triune God. The Spirit speaks in ways by which no human can understand, but only God can. Part of this prayer is through our experience with what the Holy Spirit is doing within. When the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer, we may not necessarily be in a state of prayer, but the Holy Spirit is praying as we are living and going about our day.
It is the Holy Spirit who feels the downcast of the soul and interprets and speaks its current state to the Father.
When our soul is downcast and we are living a life that is seeking after God and holiness, the Holy Spirit is able to flow through our vessel. For there is little hindrance when our heart, mind, and soul are on the pure pursuit of God. Through this, we can then know that the Holy Spirit is speaking what the soul feels but knows not how to pray. It is the Holy Spirit who feels the downcast of the soul and interprets and speaks its current state to the Father.
Through this, we can trust that God’s blessing and fresh touch shall come in its time. For if our soul is downcast from a state of missing God and desiring to be with Him for all eternity, He will once again bless us with His joy and peace. He will breathe more Life into the soul. The Holy Spirit will secure that breath of Life within as we are blessed with returning once again to that peace which transcends all understanding.
This is the way of the soul and the Holy Spirit when it comes to us having a downcast soul. Without the Holy Spirit, we would not understand nor be able to have our groanings be turned into prayer. For we are only heard by the Father if we have the Holy Spirit. We only have the Holy Spirit if we believe that Christ died for our sins and we repent of them.
Let us be grateful and patient when our soul is downcast for the right reasons. Let us not find it strange when our soul longs to be in that Celestial City that is free from all corruption and evil.
Let us therefore be grateful and patient when our soul is downcast for the right reasons. Let us not find it strange when our soul longs to be in that Celestial City that is free from all corruption and evil. May we never forget that the Holy Spirit lives within us when we have been truly born again. He is continually interceding to Christ for us. Christ is continually interceding to the Father for us. The Triune God is working collectively on our behalf, in order that we may walk as blessed saints with purpose, meaning, God’s blessing, His protection, and love within this life.
May we never become downcast due to our own neglect. May we allow our soul to be cast down for right reasons, knowing that our joy and peace will once again return to us.
May we never become downcast due to our own neglect. May we allow our soul to be cast down for right reasons, knowing that our joy and peace will once again return to us. For a downcast soul who is seeking God and holiness is only being reminded that this life is not all there is.
Look above, O soul, and know that Eternity is calling.
Look above, O soul, and know that Eternity is calling.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Life. Not merely breath in our lungs, but spiritual activity within the soul. Lord, thank You for the blessed Holy Spirit Who shows us the way in this life. Thank You for Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for dying for our sins. It is only by You, O Triune God, that we are saved and have newness of life. Lord, may we not find it strange when our soul is downcast for the right reasons. If, however, our soul is downcast due to our complacency or idleness, may it have its way in us. Lord, keep our soul’s eyes fixated on You. May we set our minds on things above and not on the things of this world. Continue to remind us that You have prepared a place for us. Life on this earth is merely a path that leads towards our Eternal abode. May we fight the good fight of faith and press on. By Your Holy Spirit, may we fulfill Your will for Your glory in this life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.