Sunday, 2 June 2013

When you are feeling down, read Psalm 42!

Just heard a sermon preached on this Psalm, and it tied in so well with the themes of this blog that I couldn't help but post it along with some notes from the sermon (the link to the actual sermon can be found here: http://christsanctuary.buzzsprout.com/4016/97002-abandoned-by-god.mp3). I pray that reading this psalm and pondering upon it will help you to know how to respond when times become difficult as much as it helped me! (I apologise in advance for the rather stinted explanations of the text: it is derived purely from my church notes which as you can imagine was written in a rather haphazard, disjointed manner!)

Psalm 42 (ESV) ~ Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
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 say to me all the day long,

“Where is your God?”
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng 
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.


How can you endure hard times? The psalmist gives us four ways as to how we can respond when going through difficult periods in our lives:
1. The psalmist calls/cries out to God (vs 1-2)
The psalmist longs for relief (vs 9-10) - he is enduring intense trials and wants relief. Crying out to God is hard, especilaly when we feel that He has turned against us. Sometimes God appears silent, but we must cry out to Him.
2. The psalmist goes on trusting God despite the fact that everything seems to be going wrong (vs 8) 

 He chooses to believe that God can be trusted. For example, the greatness of Job lies in the fact that even though God is silent, Job does not stop trusting God.

3. The psalmist preaches to himself (vs 11)

He doesn't sit idle or wait for God to deliver him. He talks hope back into himself by reminding himself of God's character - His goodness, faithfulness, trustworthiness etc. We, too, need to recall the character of God and combat our issue of "self" by reminding ourselves truths about Him as revealed through His word, the Bible.

4. The psalmist recalls the past - he looks back (vs 4)

Think of the prodigal son! He looked back and remembered - this is the kind of remembering that we need to be doing and which the psalmist does. Part of the psalmist's depression may come from isolating himself from other believers (vs 4). He is away from people who are worshipping God - we need other people around us. 
To finish up, whenever I read this psalm it reminds me of this beautiful song, based on the same psalm:


Oh, and I also read this article today: <http://therebelution.com/blog/2013/05/why-do-bad-things-happen/> which is well worth checking out! :) 

God is so good!!! Always remember that my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

God bless!


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful and so true god bless you

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement! It was a great sermon and the Lord really used it to open my eyes and see how He uses suffering and how we should respond to it. :) Very challenging and yet encouraging too. I'm so glad this post blessed you as well! :D

      God bless you too! :)
      ~ Violet <3 ~

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