“I am cast down!” said the Psalmist. And that raises the question, “Why? “. James Smith suggested some answers people would give. I have omitted the list because we each are able to compose our own. But I suspect somewhere in his list you would find something that troubles you. Due to the nature of the world and the needs of man, disappointments are common. We are born with certain appetites and the world is shouting in our ear, like a merchant selling his wares, “Try this” or “Try that”, but we keep coming up empty. The world is long on promises but short on provisions. So we might well expect to be disappointed. But the Christians greatest disappointment usually is with self. We feel as Paul described in Rom. 7. We have the desire, our goal is high, but we keep coming up short–and it hurts. We earnestly strive to do well, but we keep failing. It just might be that we are focused too much on self.
Smith wrote: “—if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named — then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to Jesus to save you from them — then, in spite of them — you will not long be cast down. I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in gloomy thoughts. But we must look away from self — for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and gloomy! We must run the race, not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures — but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we would be — before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His blood for us!
Hope in God! His mercy is great unto the heavens, His grace is as free as the air, His love is as changeless as His nature,His promise is as immutable as His love.
Hope in God, for you shall yet praise Him. He will save you for His own sake, and present you.. as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!“