One of my favorite worship songs is this one right here. It’s so full of Scripture; it’s just right on. Psalm 42, is really a perfect passage in Scripture for those times when you feel plain run down, or maybe you don’t have any motivation to run the Christian race (Hebrews 12:1-2). Or perhaps, you are feeling forgotten and alone. Read these few verses, and you will forever be encouraged.
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night. While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me…Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me. Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar…I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”…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.” -Psalms 42:1-3, 5-6, 9, 11
God’s Word is living water. And we without Christ, are sinful, lost people in constant want and need for something to satisfy our desires. Once we commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, our desires change direction. Although we will still struggle with our fleshly lusts, our desire will now be for God and His living Word. Like this passage says, “as a deer pants for water, so pants my soul for You, O God.” This is beautiful. Our souls need to “pant” for the Living God. The word “pant” in the Hebrew means to gasp. Just like we gasp for air when we’re out of breath, so must we gasp for God’s Word. Only God can satisfy. So many people live their lives trying to satisfy themselves, but they are lost. They don’t know that there is only One who can satisfy, and that’s Jesus Christ.
The writer of this psalm was probably pretty depressed when they wrote this. He says, “my tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” Obviously, this person was struggling with doubts and most likely lies from Satan. Never let Satan trick you like that. Lean on God for strength. Trust Him wholly and completely. Thirst for God. And don’t let your soul be cast down.
I love how the psalmist says, “why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God…” This is the perfect combination of thoughts. The psalmist asks himself why his soul is down cast? He’s probably thinking, “why me”? But then he encourages himself and says, “hope in God.” Ahhh yes. Hope is the key. God is our hope. When you are struggling with something in life, hope in God. Don’t let your soul be cast down.
The writer says that he will remember God. I love that. So often, we get wrapped up in the problems life gives us, that we easily forget about God. If God is our Hope, then why do we cast Him aside? He’s there to strengthen us, and all we have to do is seek His face and not let our soul be cast down.
The last bit of the passage discusses the oppression of the enemy. First of all, it’s important to note that Jesus told us that as Christians, we will go through trials and suffer persecution, so we shouldn’t be surprised when things happen. So, why should our souls be cast down within us? I love the last part of the passage. The psalmist says again to hope in God, but then he adds that he will praise God! This is amazing. After all the questions, doubt, and pain, the psalmist ends powerfully by saying that he will hope in God and praise Him!
No matter where you find yourself in life, don’t let your soul be cast down, hope in God, and most importantly praise Him because He is definitely worthy to be praised! Amen!
p.s. my lovely friend from Austria, Brooke Elisabeth, has a new blog! Go check it out and follow her. She’s new to the blogging world, so bear with her. 🙂