Hope for the Downcast Soul

“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 42:11

Today has been a hard day. I have been tempted to speak. Have written, erased, and rewritten responses to posts on social media. Have even posted and then regretted some. Many of us have become more vocal on social media feeds as more and more issues we are passionate about make headlines and newsfeeds. I’ve struggled with the realization that my speaking out on social justice has quite possible alienated certain people from me. I’ve struggled with reconciling how the children of God can argue over almost any subject even though we’re Biblically called to promote unity in the body. My soul begins to feel downcast. Not for what the world has become, but that so many believers are unable to listen to differing opinions and still act in a way that is worthy of their calling. I can’t help but wonder: if the testimony of so many Christians causes my own heart to grieve then how will it ever bring lost souls to the Savior? When is it right to speak up about justice and point people back to the gospel? Do my own words lead people further from the Lord or closer to Him?

But even as my heart ponders these questions, I see that God is good and he is faithful. For every unkind post I’ve seen today I’ve also received a message, a phone call, or words of encouragement that have shown me Christ’s love for me by means of his body. I have even read political discussions that were handled in such a manner that they increased my respect and admiration for those involved. Just when I least expected it. And while my ultimate Hope is in God, I find him incredibly good and gracious in giving me friends, mentors, and teachers who never cease to point me back to Him. In moments when my own hope begins to fail, these people help me refocus back to Him- to his glory, goodness, and sovereignty in the midst of it all. And suddenly my downcast soul no longer feels downcast because I find myself praising Him. I feel all the more profoundly with Paul as he writes the following verse:
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” ~2 Thessalonians 1:4

For I know now how great of a gift it is to be able to say the same about a faithful few. And how much of a challenge it is to be the kind of person that could have the same said of me. Let it be said of true believers that our faith is growing abundantly. And our love for one another ever increasing. Let us learn to speak truth, to be heard, and to listen while not compromising or minimizing the gospel. And let it begin with me.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:35

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,
and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” ~1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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