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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Why are you cast down, O my soul?

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hmmhmm
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 Why are you cast down, O my soul?

Why are you cast down, O my soul?

(Philpot, "A Believer’s Dialogue With His Soul")

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so
disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for
I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."
Psalm 42:11

Do you forget, O soul, that the way to heaven
is a very strait and narrow path; too narrow for
you to carry your sins in it with you?

God sees it good that you should be cast down.

You were getting very proud, O soul.

The world had gotten hold of your heart.

You were seeking great things for yourself.

You were secretly roving away from the Lord.

You were too much lifted up in SELF.

The Lord has sent you these trials and difficulties
and allowed these temptations to fall upon you,
to bring you down from your state of false security.

There is reason therefore, even to praise God
for being cast down, and for being so disturbed.

How this opens up parts of God's Word which
you never read before with any feeling.

How it gives you sympathy and communion
with the tried and troubled children of God.

How it weans and separates you from dead professors.

How it brings you in heart and affection,
out of the world that lies in wickedness.

And how it engages your thoughts, time after time,
upon the solemn matters of eternity; instead of being
a prey to every idle thought and imagination; and
tossed up and down upon a sea of vanity and folly.

But, above all, when there is a sweet response from
the Lord, and the power of divine things is inwardly
felt, in enabling us to hope in God, and to praise His
blessed name; then we see the benefit of being cast
down and so repeatedly and continually disturbed.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so
disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for
I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."
Psalm 42:11


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 2007/8/27 13:43Profile
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 Re: Why are you cast down, O my soul?

"You, O God, have purified us like silver
melted in a crucible." Psalm 66:10

As the olives must be crushed for the oil to flow;
as the grapes must be bruised in the wine-press
that the vats may be filled; as the gold comes out
refined from the furnace--so, through the agonies
of great trial, the best Christian graces are
developed.

"I have refined you in the furnace of suffering."
Isaiah 48:10


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 2007/8/27 13:44Profile
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 Re:

These difficulties . . .

(by Joseph Philpot)

"From all your idols will I cleanse you." Ezekiel 36:25

When there are no crosses, temptations, or trials,
a man is sure to go out after and cleave to idols.

It matters not what experience he has had. If once he
ceases to be plagued and tried, he will be setting up
his household gods in the secret chambers of his heart.

Profit or pleasure, self indulgence or self gratification,
will surely, in one form or another, engross his thoughts,
and steal away his heart.

Nor is there anything too trifling or insignificant to
become an idol. Whatever is meditated on preferably
to God, whatever is desired more than He, whatever
more interests us, pleases us, occupies our waking
hours, or is more constantly in our mind, becomes
an idol, and a source of sin.

It is not the magnitude of the idol, but its existence
as an object of worship, that constitutes idolatry. I have
seen some 'Burmese idols' not much larger than my hand;
and I have seen some 'Egyptian idols' weighing many tons.
But both were equally idols, and the comparative size had
nothing to do with the question.

So spiritually, an idol is not to be measured by its size;
its relative importance or non importance. A flower may
be as much an idol to one man, as a chest full of gold to
another.

If you watch your heart, you will see idols rising and setting
all day long, nearly as thickly as the stars by night.

But God sends . . .
trials,
difficulties,
temptations,
besetments,
losses,
afflictions,
to pull down these idols, or rather
to pull away our hearts from them.

These difficulties . . .
pull us out of fleshly ease,
make us cry for mercy,
pull down all rotten props,
hunt us out of false refuges, and
strip us of vain hopes and delusive expectations.



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 2007/8/27 13:45Profile
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 Re: Why are you cast down, O my soul?

The very trials and afflictions, and the sore
temptations through which God's family pass,
all eventually endear Christ to them.

And depend upon it, if you are a child of God,
you will sooner or later, in your travels through
this wilderness, find your need of Jesus as "able
to save to the uttermost."

There will be such things in your heart, and such
feelings in your mind, the temptations you will
meet with will be such, that nothing short of a
Savior that is able to save to the uttermost
can save you out of your desperate case and
felt circumstances as utterly lost and helpless.

This a great point to come to. All trials, all
temptations, all strippings, all emptyings
that do not end here are valueless, because
they lead the soul away from God.

But the convictions, the trials, the temptations,
the strippings, the emptyings, that bring us to
this spot: that we have nothing, and can do
nothing, but the Lord alone must do it all; these
have a blessed effect, because they eventually
make Jesus very near and dear unto us.


Philpot


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 2007/8/27 13:50Profile
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Posts: 1554


 Re:

Wonderful, wonderful... I thank God for these encouragements...

Quote:
As the olives must be crushed for the oil to flow;
as the grapes must be bruised in the wine-press
that the vats may be filled; as the gold comes out
refined from the furnace--so, through the agonies
of great trial, the best Christian graces are
developed.



Quote:
And depend upon it, if you are a child of God,
you will sooner or later, in your travels through
this wilderness, find your need of Jesus as "able
to save to the uttermost."



Quote:
There will be such things in your heart, and such
feelings in your mind, the temptations you will
meet with will be such, that nothing short of a
Savior that is able to save to the uttermost
can save you out of your desperate case and
felt circumstances as utterly lost and helpless.

 2007/8/27 13:57Profile
Tears_of_joy
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Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re: Why are you cast down, O my soul?

(Archibald Alexander, "Growth in Grace" 1844)

One of the best evidences of growth in grace, is a
clearer and deeper insight into the evils of your own
heart. But your first conclusion is apt to be--"I am
growing worse every day! I see innumerable
evils springing up within me which I never saw
before!"

This person may be compared to one shut up in
a dark room where he is surrounded by many
loathsome objects. If a single ray of light is let
into the room, he sees the more prominent objects.
And if the light gradually increases, he sees more
and more of the filth by which he has been
surrounded. It was there before--but he
did not perceive it. His increased knowledge
of the fact is a sure evidence of increasing light.

 2007/8/27 14:00Profile
Tears_of_joy
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Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re: Why are you cast down, O my soul?

[i]All your former troubles and afflictions by Thomas Brooks,[/i]

"In the day of adversity, consider." Eccles. 7:14

If you would be quiet and silent under your present
troubles and trials, then dwell much upon the benefit,
the profit, the advantage that has redounded to your
souls by all your former troubles and afflictions.

Oh! consider, how by former afflictions the Lord has
revealed sin, prevented sin, and mortified sin!

Consider how the Lord by former afflictions has
revealed to you the impotency, the mutability,
the insufficiency, and the vanity of the world,
and all worldly concerns!

Consider how the Lord by former afflictions has melted
your heart, and broken your heart, and humbled your
heart, and prepared your heart for clearer, fuller, and
sweeter enjoyments of Himself!

Consider what pity, what compassion, what affections,
what tenderness, and what sweetness former afflictions
have wrought in you, towards others in misery!

Consider what room former afflictions have made
in your soul for God, for His word, for good counsel,
and for divine comfort!

Consider how by former afflictions the Lord has made
you more partaker of His Christ, His Spirit, His holiness,
His goodness, etc.

Consider how by former afflictions the Lord has made
you to look towards heaven more, to mind heaven more,
to prize heaven more, and to long for heaven more, etc.

Now, who can seriously consider all the good that he
has gotten by former afflictions—and not be silent under
present afflictions? Who can remember those choice, those
great, and those precious profits that his soul has made
of former afflictions, and not reason himself into a holy
silence under present afflictions thusly, "O my soul! has not
God done you much good, great good, special good—by
former afflictions? Yes! O my soul! has not God done that
for you by former afflictions—which you would not undo for
ten thousand worlds? Yes! And is not God, O my soul! as
powerful as ever, as faithful as ever, as gracious as ever,
and as ready and willing as ever—to do you good by present
afflictions, as he has been to do you good by former afflictions?
Yes! Yes! Why, why then do you not sit silent and mute before
Him, under your present troubles, O my soul?"

 2007/8/27 14:23Profile
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 Re: Why are you cast down, O my soul?


(Thomas Brooks, "The Privy Key of Heaven" 1665)

How shall we find out that particular sin, for which God
corrects us--for which He has brought the rod upon us?

Seriously observe what that sin is, which your soul would
have spared above all, which your soul is most unwilling
to leave, and bid an everlasting farewell to. Observe what
your right-hand sin, your bosom sin, your constitutional
sin, your complexion sin, is; for it is a hundred to one that
God has sent the rod for the subduing of that very sin!
Commonly by the rod, God points at the mortifying of that
particular sin to which the heart stands most strongly inclined.

It may be that sin which you cannot endure should be touched,
or reproved, or spoken against. Ah! how proud, how impatient,
how passionate, how mad are many--when you come to touch
their right-eye sin! When you come to touch them in the
tender part, oh! then they fume, and swell, and rage,
and carry on like people out of their wits; as you may see in
the scribes and pharisees, who were so angry and mad with
Christ that they sought His death; and all because He was
still a-pointing at the toads in their bosoms; namely,
pride, vainglory, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness. Oh! they
could not endure that the sharp razor of reproof should come
near their sorest part!

Certainly that Christian must be under a very bad distemper,
who smites a righteous man with reproach--for smiting him
with a reproof. Though gracious reproofs are a choice
remedy, yet few stomachs can bear them. Who is angry
with the physician for prescribing a bitter medicine? And
yet, ah! how angry are many Christians when they fall under
holy reproofs. Now, doubtless, the voice of the rod is this,
"Soul! take heed of that sin which you cannot endure
should be touched. Labor mightily with God to get that
particular sin mortified--which you cannot endure should
be reproved." It is very probable that, for the subduing
of that particular sin, the Lord has visited you with His
fatherly rod.


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 2007/8/28 2:09Profile
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 Re:

(James W. Alexander, "Consolation" 1852)

"Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord"
(Psalm 94:12)

We are all familiar with suffering. We are either now
enduring, or shall at some future time endure severe
afflictions. There are few of us therefore to whom the
inquiry may not be interesting--how is affliction a
blessing? The question may be thus answered.

The chastisements which God inflicts upon His children
are profitable to them--as they tend under the Divine
blessing to promote piety in the heart. Chastisement
forms a necessary part of that paternal discipline, by
which our heavenly Father fits His children for their
eternal rest in glory.

1. Chastisement is useful, because it tends to convince
the believer of his misery, and shows him that without
Christ he cannot be happy. One great end of your
affliction is answered, when you are led to commence
and persevere in a faithful and earnest application to
Christ, as the great Physician.

2. Chastisement is useful, as it leads the believer to
see and feel his exceeding sinfulness.

3. Chastisement is useful, as a trial of faith. Adversity
is compared to the fire, the furnace, the refining-pot
or crucible, because it not only purifies--but tries; it
not only consumes the dross--but ascertains the gold.

4. Chastisement is useful, as it strengthens faith, by
leading the believer to the promises--and especially
to the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. Chastisement is useful, because it leads the believer
to exercise entire submission to the Divine will.

6. Chastisement is useful, because it leads the believer
to look for complete happiness in heaven alone. Let the
worst, most lingering, and most aggravated instance of
suffering be presented--and the hope of heaven is still
sufficient to mitigate its ills! It is well to learn to look
beyond all secondary, earthly, imperfect comforts--to
God, the source of good, and to that world where all
tears are wiped away!

In pain, and despondency, and grief, we go to Jesus
as to a friend who sticks closer than a brother. We
pour our sorrows into His friendly ear, and ask His
aid, and then, when He reveals to us His love, and
speaks His promises, and unveils His face, even though
He gives no assurance that we shall be set free, He does
more--He gives us Himself, and faith is refreshed and
nourished by receiving Him. And shall we not regard
as a mercy--that illness, or that bereavement, or that
severe trial--which so embitters the world's cup, as to
lead us to Christ, that we may see His beauty, and be
filled with His love?

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted!" Ps. 119:71


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 2007/8/28 2:10Profile
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 Re:

(John MacDuff, "Gleams from the Sick Chamber" 1882)

"But what could I say? For He Himself had sent this
sickness. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years
because of this anguish I have felt." Isaiah 38:15

God Himself has mixed your bitter cup, and led
you to your 'Gethsemane of suffering'.

All your sufferings . . .
the existence of them,
the duration of them,
the intensity of them,
are appointed by your heavenly Father.

"Though now for a little while, if need be, you may
have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." 1 Peter 1:6

Your heavenly Father can inflict no unnecessary pang.

You may presently be pain-stricken, and woe-worn.

There is a divine necessity for your present "fiery trial."
No drop in the cup can be spared! "I will correct you
in measure." Your heavenly Father, tenderer and more
loving than the tenderest earthly parent, tempers the
fury of the flames, saying, "Thus far shall you go, and
no farther."

Happy for you, that you can write "if need be" . . .
over that severest hour of distress,
over every night of throbbing temples,
over sleepless eyes,
over every fresh thorn sent to buffet,
over every heavy cross sent to carry.

When we are assured that nothing which is
appointed by our Father can come to us wrongly,
our cup of suffering becomes a cup of love!

"Shall I not drink the cup my Father has
given me?" John 18:11

"For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far
outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:17

What verse is more soothing sight for a suffering
couch, or for a dying pillow? What verse is more
consolatory for a weary, burdened body? and above
all, for a weary, burdened, sin-stricken heart?

"God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Revelation 7:17

A tearless Heaven will make amends for all!


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