“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?…”
This morning I walked into the office with a heavy heart and I am not exactly sure why. God is doing so much at our church – the evidence of his grace is abundant! Yet…my soul is in turmoil.
What am I to do? What do you do? Where do you turn when your own soul is cast down? Some turn to hobbies, books, movies and friends in the hopes of cheering themselves up. But they soon find that these things only bring temporary happiness. I will admit – I do this too and find that the results are only temporary.
However, this morning I found hope…lasting hope! It was so precious to me I that found myself in tears. Here it is – are you ready?
It’s the gospel!
Surprised? Probably not. Let me explain a bit more.
By God’s kindness I found two blog posts that communicated the glory of God in Christ in a marvelous way to me. (Thanks Jon Bloom!)
The first caught my eye because it is about one of my favorite pastors: Robert Murray McCheyne. Below is part of a blog by Tony Reinke called: the Purifying Power of Delight in Christ.
As you read this I pray that you find the message of hope in Jesus just as refreshing to your soul as it was to mine!
Scottish pastor Robert Murray McCheyne (1813–1843) left us with one quote that has become quite famous, and for good reason. It goes like this: “For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.” The quote is short, sticky, and it helps to both keep our focus on Christ and protect us from the trap of over-introspection with our own sins.
The line is taken from a letter published in Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne [(Edinburgh, 1894), 293]. Here’s a little more of the context:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:9. Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief! Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. . . .
When taken by itself the quote seems to suggests that McCheyne was simply content to turn a blind eye to his own weaknesses. Such an interpretation is far from the truth. If we keep reading we find what McCheyne writes later in the same paragraph.
. . . Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him. Let the Holy Spirit fill every chamber of your heart; and so there will be no room for folly, or the world, or Satan, or the flesh.”
Is your soul cast down like mine? Take McCheyne’s advice – stop navel gazing (looking at yourself so much) and look to Christ and find your hope! It is amazing how self-focused and self-absorbed we are when we are down.
Thanks McCheyne – rebuke and hope received!
The next is a video blog that highlights justification by faith alone. Watch this clip and let’s keep reminding ours weary souls of these precious truths!