8 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
The verse I have chosen for today is clearly important. The Psalmist (sons of Korah) said the exact same words three(!) times in the references I provided above.
As we read through Psalm 42-43, we came to realize quickly that the Psalmist was severely depressed.
Psalm 42:3 (CSB): “My tears have been my food day and night, …”
Psalm 42:6 (CSB): “I am deeply depressed; …”
Why was he depressed? What was he dealing with?
It seems that his problems weren’t circumstantial. They were personal. Apparently, there were people who were doing things that were clearly wrong and he was being hurt.
Psalm 43:1 (CSB): “…rescue me from the deceitful and unjust person.”
It also becomes clear from these two Psalms that his trouble was obvious to others. They were mocking him and claiming that his God couldn’t help him.
Psalm 42:3 (CSB): “My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, ‘Where is your God?'”
Psalm 42:10 (CSB): “My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is your God?'”
The Psalmist was being horribly treated by others with hurtful actions and hopeless words. As a result, he reacted the way that seems natural – he settled into discouragement, maybe even depression.
However, he wasn’t content to remain there. He knew that God was more than powerful enough to save him from the trouble so he mustered the spiritual and emotional strength to call himself to hope in God.
Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5 (CSB): “Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.”
The fact that the Psalmist said this three times appears to point to the fact that he was struggling. He was working to convince himself of something that was helpful and he knew to be true … but his heart was struggling to follow along.
Have you ever been at this point in your life? You were struggling. Something had happened in your life that knocked you to the floor. In your mind, you knew that God was more than powerful enough to come to your aid and help … but your heart just didn’t have the strength to follow. You knew of helpful truth but your heart just wasn’t convinced.
Friend, there are a few things that I see when I read Psalms 42-43:
- When life gets difficult, we tend to think that we’ve got it harder than anyone else. But the Psalms bring us into the awareness that we aren’t alone in our struggles. Plenty of other people walk through the same, dark tunnels.
- When we identify our pain and admit an internal struggle, that is real Christinity. Phony Christians pretend that everything goes well for them all the time. I am so glad that the Lord included the struggles of the Psalmists, Job, and so many of the other Bible characters so that we come to realize that true relationship with God doesn’t deny our struggles – it acknowledges them.
- While it may not come natural, we must act in faith to put our hope (our trust) in God. We must let our knowledge of truth lead our hearts to a place where we are trusting the Lord. If we let our hearts lead the way, we may remain in that discouragement. While Christians recognize that we are emotional creatures because God made us in His image, we don’t let our emotions lead the way. We listen to them but then guide them by what we know to be true of the Lord and His Word.
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Lord Jesus, once again I am so thankful for the rugged, real struggles of the Psalmists. I am so glad that I can observe the inner turmoil of men who were used to write Your Word and realize that their struggles validate my own. Life can get hard at times. But I want to respond like the Psalmists and let faith and my knowledge of Your Word guide my heart. While there may be some struggles that are so painful that I will need to seek a professional to help me, I know that much of life’s troubles can be overcome as I embrace the Psalmists’ strategy of choosing to place my trust in You and then waiting expectantly for Your answer. Help me on this journey. Amen.