“These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:4-5
Psalm 42 describes an experience that finds the psalmist in a position beyond any self-help book. He longs to revisit the past before his raw emotions and troubled heart brought a feeling of separation from God. The lamenting psalmist is prevented from going to the sanctuary of the Lord, a place of sweet communion with his God. He is pestered with the question, “where is God?” Onlookers may even say, “is there a God?” The suffering surges against him over and over with no relief.
As devout believers, we will walk through the valleys where tears will be our food. Perhaps you’ve experienced this kind-of bitterness of soul and deep oppression. Financial difficulties, broken relationships, unemployment, a prodigal child, longing for a child, health issues, or consequences to sin… find us restless for joy.
In these moments, how do we respond? Do we stay downcast or pour out our souls in prayer and determine that our God is faithful still? God has not changed! He is a Rock! The psalmist chooses to find his confidence in the Lord God who saves. Oh, that our souls would catch hold of the power and promises of God. Let us meditate on the goodness and kindness of God and the hope we find in Him alone.
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, when I am afraid I will trust in You, because Your Word and Your promises are true! I may be oppressed by the enemy, but I know that You are for me! I cast all my anxiety on You, because You care for me. You have delivered me from my enemy in the past! I ask that You do it again! Keep my feet from stumbling that I may walk before my God in the light of life! In Jesus name, Amen (1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 56)