Good afternoon to all. Just a reminder that prayer time is at 8:00 p.m. tonight.
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When I Woke up this morning, the word countenance was on my mind probably because it came up in our Thursday night Bible Study. As we studied and gave attention to Psalm 43, there is reason to believe the psalmist suffered from spiritual depression. There was a period of time he was separated or absent from the tabernacle in Jerusalem. His heart longed to return to the tabernacle so that he might be in the presence of God so that he might be able to praise Him. Scripture says that he was down cast. Just imagine how his countenance must have been during his absence from God which caused him to be sad.
The message this morning is to remind and inform all of us that our countenance does matter. The expressions we show on our faces can cause others to determine how we feel or what our attitude is at a particular time. Our countenance may even impact the countenance of a family member or friend. It may also send a message that we Christians, who serve a God of joy, do not reflect joy in our faces.
In psalm 43:3-5, David glorified God for the “help” of his countenance and rejoiced that God was the “health” of his countenance. “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me, let them bring me to Your holy hill and your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise you, O God my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” In this passage of scripture, for the psalmist, God is the one who could turn his facial expression from a frown to a smile. He did it for the psalmist and He will do it for us.
I can imagine the psalmist had a frown on his face because of his enemies and their attempt to do harm to him. His countenance is one of sadness, dejection, worry, frustration, and loneliness. I would think his facial expression would be as one who is in mourning. By faith, the psalmist believes God is going to take away his sadness, worries, depression, etc. and turn it all to exceeding joy. It is our prayer that any sadness experienced by us may turn to joy and bring about a sincere smile.
If you are sad today, pray to God to change your countenance from sadness to gladness. Remember that God is the help of our countenance.
Isaiah said that even the countenance of the wicked speaks about their heart. “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them.” Isaiah (3:9)
It is said that the human face is capable of more than 10,000 different expressions and the most beautiful expression of all is a sincere smile. I believe that if our hearts are happy, our faces will reflect it. Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” Solomon is saying that the heart will determine and affect our countenance.
If we are happy Christians, it should show in our countenance. A beautiful countenance brings attention to our faces and spirits. Remember, a smile is a frown turned upside down.
Do you find yourself in the company of downtrodden and heavy-laden people whose countenance is not good? We should make it our business to at least attempt to change the countenance of the person with our countenance. Let us be real now, for there will be times we will weep, but remember it does not have to go into overtime.
To keep from falling into a state of sadness, I admonish all of us to speak to our souls and ask, “Why am I cast down, O my soul? Hope in God.” We too are to be reminded that God is the help of our countenance.
Even though the psalmist does not see God acting on his behalf, he continues to call on God in faith to guide him: He realizes his situation or condition is too difficult for him to handle, so he calls on God for direction, guidance, strength and help.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, may we like the psalmist, find room in our hearts to give praises to God. Giving praises to God should also change our countenance. Cheer up my brothers and sisters and live in the sunshine.
Let’s put forth a concerted effort for our countenance and be of good cheer. Take off the mask and again ask, “Why am I downcast?”
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade