Psalm 42:11 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Being “cast down” is the biblical way of saying, “I feel like I’m in such despair right now.” Have you ever felt like that? Like the task is way too big or the journey is way too long and it was hard to have any hope at all that it was going to work out?
Maybe you are at a point where everything is good, yet you are still in despair. Through it your countenance, or disposition, is showing itself though; sensitivity, irritability, rudeness, faultfinding, being in a bad mood, having a bad temper, resentfulness, cruelty, unlovable attitudes, and many more grumpy examples of despair.
Why? Maybe the problem lies within. See, those despair qualities are really dispositional sins that act as a gauge to reveal a heart problem.
Samuel Johnson was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, editor, and many other things. He said, “He who has little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.” In a nutshell, he was saying that in order to remove the grief one may be living in, true change will affect one’s disposition.
I like how the psalmist put it. Let me paraphrase: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
What was the psalmist’s cure for dispositional sins?
- “Hope in God…” Which means to be still and wait on God, trusting that he will give you the strength and hope you need, in the very situation you are in.
- ”…I shall yet praise Him…” Which means to throw one’s hands up in an intentional act of worship, confessing and proclaiming words of truth to God. Words like, “If its over my head, its under your feet.”
- “…the health of my countenance…” This means to understand that it is God who has delivered and saved and where our victory comes from. In understanding this it will affect our countenance or disposition.
So the cure for dispositional sins is confession, repentance, and praise. I read something one time that went like this: “Don’t manage your time … manage your life.” In managing my own life the victory comes from a daily yielding to my heavenly father, whom I shall praise and give glory.
This post originally appeared at Roberson’s blog. Used with permission.