by Patrick Sookhdeo
If you’ve been in this race long enough, you realize that life delivers many challenges, uncertainties and sorrows. Causing us at times, to feel, as David writes “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11 NIV) Sometimes the anxieties of life make us feel as though God is so far from us that He doesn’t know what we are feeling or going through.
In Lifting Up the Downcast, Sookhdeo illustrates how, through centuries, many believers have felt the same way. Yet they did not leave behind their sorrows, but a vast array of writings to help us through those trying times.
An easy read, these 113 pages are full of inspirational scriptures, hymns and writings from such notables as Charles Wesley, Anina Laetitial Waring, Elisha Albright Hoffman and many others.
Within these seven chapters you will find wisdom to help alleviate these anxieties.
- Introduction: The God of Peace Hope & Love
- Do Not Fear for I am with You
- Coping with Anxiety
- Trusting God in Uncertain Times
- Death and Our Sure Hope of Heaven
- True Comfort
- The Joy of the Lord
He writes, “We often fret about the past, but the past cannot be changed. When we think of the past, it should be to look at what the Lord has done, and seek to regain our equilibrium by remembering how He has rescued us or others.” (pg. 38)
Then proceeds to give Seven Points To Help Us Quell Our Anxiety.
The points that really registered were numbers one and four. Point 1. God gave us life itself. Therefore we can trust Him with the lesser things that support our lives. If He can give us the miraculously complex human body. He can also provide food and clothes. Referencing Matthew 6:25, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Point 4. “The amazing beauty that God gives to flowers for their short lives, far beyond anything that humans can create, shows His lavish generosity and abundance. He will not run out of resources to help humankind, whom He has made “a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5) and put to rule over the rest of His earthly creatures. (Genesis 1:26) (Matthew 6:28-30)
Sookhdeo is convinced that “The bottom line is that Christ’s followers should be people marked by serenity and contentment, whatever the circumstances.” (pg. 48) Then proceeds to tell us that worry is a characteristic of pagans. Further into the read, as a remedy, insists “We need to remind ourselves, continually, that our God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. Although we don’t always understand His ways, we can always trust Him,” (pg. 61)
He gives you steps to come up out of your downcast pit. Such as living a life of desire towards God, living a life of delight in God, living a life of dependence on God, and many others.
The last page of the book is Psalm 62:5-8: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
There are so many uplifting words of wisdom in this book if you are in the pit you will find yourself walking to the palace. This is a very good book. I read it in one sitting—not able to set it down until it was finished. Scripture-based with excellent research of our rich Christian history, I would suggest to anyone struggling with sincerity of heart, when standing in life’s complexities, to get a copy of this book; which can be purchased here at Amazon.com.
I received this preview copy from a “friend of Barnabas Fund” and I am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
Barnabas Fund works to provide hope and aid for the persecuted Church, from Christians, to Christians, through Christians.
Thank you for your continued readership and support. Blessings and Peace
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