5Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
A soul disquieted is one that “lacks a certain level of peace or tranquility,” due to internal or external circumstances, or a combination of both. There can be many contributing factors to such a condition by which hopelessness and discouragement causes an anxiousness or depressed sense of the soul and disrupts one’s functioning physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The Psalmist wrestles with such questions within himself as he pens these words, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” We gather from previous verses within the stanza, that he can recall brighter days in his past, which were accompanied by hope-filled experiences with the people of God as they marched toward the House of the Lord praising His holy name.
Yet, in this season of which the duration is unclear, his soul is downcast, disquieted, grieved, or unsettled within him. The exact cause is also unknown, yet the effects are unmistakable – a depression causing him for a time, not to see the glorious grace and truth of God. These blessings of God which he had known shortly beforehand, having found true joy and exuberance in life, walking with God, worshipping Him along with His people had all but dissipated. Much like the Psalmist, we can find ourselves in a season in which our soul is downcast or disquieted, causing us to lack peace in our lives – peace of mind, body, soul, and spirit. There is not always a “cause & effect” process that is readily clear when we find ourselves in these places of darkness, of being downcast, or feeling that our soul is disturbed within us. Sometimes there are just no easy answers to the lowliness or heaviness of spirit we may experience. However, in these seasons or circumstances we can take a cue from the Psalmist as he purposefully alters the focus of his mind in order to find true hope once again.
The Psalmist wisely turns his heart toward God, even in his distress he proclaims, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” His realization that God is his ultimate source of hope and his proclamation that regardless of his circumstances he will yet praise him, reveals his faith in and loyalty to the Lord who is faithful to never leave him and to walk with him through all things. Turning to the Lord in these times of the disquieted soul is an essential part of keeping a sense of ultimate hope alive in one’s life. We have access to all that God is and all He provides in our lives – comfort, strength, purpose, grace, unconditional love in every moment and at every twist & turn of life. Especially on our most difficult of days, it is of utmost importance to get our mind, heart, and soul refocused on Him, and to surround ourselves with those who will constantly remind us of His faithfulness along this journey.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for the comfort of Your Spirit and the promises of Your word to bring hope to the disquieted or weary soul. Thank You Lord, for being constant and unchanging when there appears to be no rhyme or reason for the heaviness we may feel within our spirit. Please grant us your grace and strength in those most difficult times to turn our hearts back toward you in order to find true peace and rest. You are a good, good Father and we praise you even when we cannot clearly see You or feel Your presence, because You are faithful and never leave us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.