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 the joy you once had? 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)!
The psalmist remembers the joy he took in his performance as a leader of a grand procession of worshipers. 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)!
Even though he is discouraged, the psalmist doesn't get angry at God or turn away from Him. No matter what life presents, he declares that each day the Lord pours His unfailing love. He chooses to praise God for hope.
"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).
Do we make that choice when we are discouraged? Are we determined to praise God no matter how we feel? We have something that makes all the difference—something this psalmist didn't have. We have Jesus and peace with God, where we have nothing to prove. Jesus proved Himself for us. We have faith that in Christ, God's promises are real. We believe when we know who we are in Christ.
The psalmist knew he needed to please God to be accepted by Him. He received God's love based on whether he lived righteously or if he failed God's standards. You are no longer under that Old Covenant striving to win God's love. The grace of Jesus has earned your acceptance—your peace and your joy. There is nothing you need to do to earn God's love.
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 never lets you down. He has already provided your promise. If you ask, you will receive. If you seek, you will find. The joy of your salvation will set your aching heart free! Peace and joy come when you believe without any doubt that the King of Kings—the Lord of Lords—your Redeemer—your Healer—your Deliver—your Provider—live within you. And you are loved—not because of who you are but because of who Jesus is.
Don't be discouraged. When you believe in the overwhelming goodness of God toward you, you can say—no matter what happens, "The Lord pours His unfailing love on me!" Praise Jesus! We no longer have to be good enough to receive from God. We are free to receive because Jesus, who was our God-in-the-flesh, died for our freedom.
©2020 Lynn Lacher