Psalms 42 and 43 have always provided encouragement and challenge for me.
The situations, experiences, and feelings expressed by the psalmist find parallels in the believer’s life today:
- feeling far from and longing for God
- grief and remembrance of better times
- a soul that is in despair and disturbed
- feeling that God has forgotten me
- oppressed and broken
- seemingly rejected by God
No matter how I feel or what I experience, I must trust, remember, hope, depend, commit, and pray to God. When feeling far from and even abandoned by God I must continue to hope in God.
This is hard to accept, as from a human standpoint my typical response when I feel rejected by someone is to distance myself from him or her even more. Yet, as a believer, I must not be driven or controlled by such feelings, no matter how strong they may be. I must continue to hope, trust, rejoice in, and depend on God. That is what believers do: continue to trust God.
It is often thought that when “things are going well” it’s easiest to trust God. This probably isn’t true, for more often than not during such circumstances I am relying on a combination of myself and my circumstances, rather than God.
Experiences and feelings must not have a dominating control on my outlook on life. This is the point of the psalmist’s probing questions and exhortation:
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.