Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!
—Psalm 42:11 (NLT)
Do you get discouraged? Are you sad when reminded of joy you once had but now have lost? The psalmist who wrote Psalm 42 understood discouragement and despair. He remembered the joy He once had in the Lord.
“My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration” (Psalm 42:4, NLT)!
In his sadness, the psalmist is determined to regain what He has lost. As the deer longs for water, the psalmist thirsts for peace and joy in His Savior. “I will put my hope in God,” he writes. “I will praise Him again—my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5b-6a, NLT)!
The psalmist doesn't try to hide what He has lost. He doesn't pretend to have joy and peace that was once his. He is brutally honest with God:
“Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life” (Psalm 42:6-8, NLT).
Even though he is discouraged, the psalmist doesn't get angry at God or question His love. The trials of life have taken their toll on this writer, but He doesn't turn away from God. No matter what life presents, he declares that each day the Lord pours His unfailing love. He chooses to praise God for hope, even in his despair.
Do we make that choice when we are discouraged as this psalmist? Are we as determined to praise Him no matter how we feel? We have something the psalmist didn’t have. We have Jesus and peace with God, where we have nothing to prove. Jesus proved Himself for us. The mind of Christ is ours. We have faith that in Christ alone, God's promise is real.
Be honest with God right where you are! You can’t shock Him. He already knows. Let His love be real in your discouraged heart! Praise Him no matter what life presents! Place all your hope in Him! Jesus won't let you down. He has already provided your promise. If you ask, you will receive it. If you seek, you will find it. The joy of your salvation will set your aching heart free! Lasting peace and joy come when you praise Him, believing He has already provided your promise.
©2020 Lynn Lacher
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