The Downcast Place

The Downcast Place

Words of Faith 11-2-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 7

   [5] For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn--conflicts on the outside, fears within. [6] But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, [7] and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

 

       This passage flows into the next verses but it is good not to rush. Some of the phrases here are so tender. When Paul came to Macedonia he was looking to meet Titus, but Titus was not there. Paul was worried sick about this but he was also upset by the circumstances in Corinth.

       Paul had no rest or relief in this. He was in knots. We see a very human side of Paul here. The great apostle did not always ride a spiritual crest. He readily admitted that he had been depressed-- downcast. Fears and depression had swept in brought on by opposition and persecution in Macedonia, anxiety about Titus' well-being, and by his reception by the Corinthians, and by their response to his letter.

       But God was faithful. "God Who comforts the downcast" comforted Paul with the arrival of Titus and the good news he brought. Titus had been well received by the Corinthians. They did love Paul and longed for him and were concerned for him. And they were remorseful and had deep sorrow at their failure to support him during his "painful visit". And they had even responded positively to his severe letter.

       What we don't want to miss is the image of "God Who comforts the downcast". The Greek means literally the one who comes alongside the depressed, humiliated or cast down. It is not exactly a "Name of God" like in the Old Testament such as "the God who heals you," but it certainly is an image that we can grab on to. And it is powerful.

       The good new is that God does not abandon us when we are cast down, humiliated or depressed. He hears our cry when we are pressed in, pressed on or just depressed. It may surprise you to see that Paul felt this way but many different Bible characters had times of deep depression or a downcast spirit including Jonah, Elijah, David, Moses, Jeremiah and Peter to name a few. God is in the business of lifting us up from that downcast place. He meets us there. He is not afraid of that place. He comes along side us. He walks with us and lifts us up.

         Interestingly, Jesus even understands the downcast place. In Gethsemane Jesus told the Twelve, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" (Mark 14:34). We also know that Jesus was "tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin". We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses" (Heb 4:15). He is our great Physician.

         Have you been downcast? Have you felt humiliated or shamed? Have you been depressed? It certainly helps to talk to someone. But first and foremost and finally, it helps to talk to God. He is the Lord who comes alongside the downcast.

 

         Father God, lift my spirit as I focus upon You. Walk with me through the difficult and trying places. Lift me from the downcast places. In Jesus' Name.