Holding On

OPENING PRAYER

Lord God, meet with me today and reveal to me the true condition of my soul.

 

Read: PSALM 42, 43

[1] For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. [2] My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? [3] My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” [4] These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. [5] 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. [6] My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon-from Mount Mizar. [7] Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. [8] By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me- a prayer to the God of my life. [9] I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” [10] My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” [11] 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. 

 

Reflect: DOES THE PSALMIST’S APPROACH TO GOD SURPRISE YOU?

Two things strike me in particular as I read these psalms. One is the desperate state of the psalmist. He feels distant from God and deeply alone (42:2,3). The psalmist is downcast and disturbed and feels oppressed by his enemy. He’s in physical pain and emotional turmoil. So often, we feel this way in our human condition. We live in a fallen world. We suffer. Everywhere we look is depression, conflict, and death. Yet, intertwined with this harshest of realities is the acknowledgement of a greater reality. We can put our hope in God, and He will not disappoint. Over and over, with gritty determination, the psalmist makes the decision to praise God and to keep hope alive (42:5,11; 43:5). He chooses to remember God’s faithfulness to him in the past, and while he may not feel it, he acknowledges God’s presence with him in the present (42:8). Whatever we are dealing with, we have total freedom to be real and honest about our feelings. But we also have a choice – will we continue to praise God? Will we remember what we know to be true about him? And will we put our hope in the One who holds all things in his hands?

 

APPLY

Will you choose to praise God and remember His faithfulness in times of trouble? Why not lift your hands to Him?

 

CLOSING PRAYER

I place my hope and trust in You, Lord, and praise You, my Stronghold, in times of trouble.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider