On Sunday night we, as a family, gathered around the TV to watch the Prime Minister. Now, normally the only thing that we would all gather around a TV as a family for is the World Cup final or the final of strictly. We sat quietly as Boris made his unusual hand movements and we listen intently, hanging on his every word, to find out how we might live over the next few weeks. I’m not sure what I was hoping to hear but I’ve noticed that my mood didn’t improve because of the announcement.

Actually, as I’ve spoken to people since I’ve become aware that many people have become quite downcast since Sunday night. I’ve seen people in tears as well as people angry and frustrated. It is understandable why people might be feeling this way and certainly, the psalmist who wrote our reading for today seems to have tapped into this. While they would not have experienced anything like the lockdown, the death and fear we have seen recently. They do seem however to be able to understand many of the emotions that we might be feeling at this time.

Let me read the verse to you Psalm 43 verse 5

Why are you down in the dumps dear so why are you crying the Blues fix my eyes on God soon I’ll be praising again he puts a smile on my face he’s my God.

It is clear that their soul was downcast and also it was disturbed. It is a terrible picture of a soul which has for a whole host of reasons being downtrodden. It is almost as if the Psalmist is having a conversation with his own soul. They ask questions about why they are not willing to put their hope in God. There was a call from within to continue to praise God as they put their trust and hope in him.

Can I encourage you today to praise yourself out of a downcast spirit if that is where you find yourself? To do this I invite you once again to put your hope in God before anything else and continue to praise your Lord. As we orientate ourselves back to Father God, as we fix our eyes on God, we will find that our soul also is lifted. God is a faithful God and a merciful and compassionate Father. Therefore, my soul praises Him.

Let us pray

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the name above every other name. Your name is like a fortified tower in which I can find safety and security. When I am troubled, I can find peace in your name. When I feel weak, I can find strength in your name. When I feel overwhelmed, I can find rest in your name. When I feel surrounded by pressures on every side, I can find stability in your name. Your name is beautiful, Lord, help me to rely on you. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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