PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD: PSALM 42
BY DINO MICIANO
Have you been feeling down and out lately? If so, Psalm 42:5 reads: 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 was obviously written by someone experiencing some level of depression.
This psalm provides some answer to overcome discouragement and depression.
There are various causes of depression but it always starts when we only see our dire situation and not see the bigger picture. For one thing the psalmist experienced this because he did not get his plans fulfilled. He wanted to join the pilgrim’s annual trip to
the temple but he could not go (42:4).
Not only had his plans not been fulfilled but his feelings had not been relieved (42:3). He was feeding on tears instead of eating his meals. The enemy was taunting him and nobody was sympathizing with him.
Furthermore, his questions had not been answered. “Why?” Clearly, the writer wants his plans fulfilled; his feelings improved and his questions answered. He is so busy looking at himself he doesn’t look to God.
We must learn to see God in our lives. Even in darkness God is there. Job 35:10 says, “God gives me songs in the night.”
The author asked “why” around ten times. “Why” is not an easy question to answer. That’s a common question asked by children. It is normal to ask “why” especially when we are going through confusing experiences. It is not wrong to ask questions to God but it is wrong when we start questioning God.
Do you sense the writer getting impatient? “Where is God?” “Why doesn’t he do something?” “When will it all fall in place?”
Had the psalmist looked at God’s promises instead of reasons, he would’ve immediately found medicine for his aching heart.
God promises to care (42:1) – If God cares for the creatures around us will he not care for you? Aren’t we more valuable than these (Matt. 6:26)
God is the living God (42:2) – Just because we don’t see God doesn’t mean he is not at work in our lives. The truth is: He is alive and he cares.
God promises to be faithful (42:3, 8) – Nature hints that. There is always a day and a night because God allows that to happen. He is faithful in his ways.
God promises to forgive and cleanse (42:4) – God gives us a fresh start so we don’t need to live in our past mistakes.
God promises to be our strength and refuge (42:6) – the hills and mountains were the most dependable things the Old Testament people knew. There can be no mountaintop experiences without the valleys. But God is God of both the hills and the valleys.
NetWork Christian Ministrie
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