What does it look like to have hope in God in the midst of hard circumstances?

We are about to read Psalm 42, which can be hard to read, particularly when you are in the midst of hard circumstances, but there is hope in this passage too. This passage shows us what it is like to have hope in God despite our earthly circumstances.

Psalm 42 (For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah)

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,

    so my soul pants for you, my God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

    When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food

    day and night,

while people say to me all day long,

    “Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember

    as I pour out my soul:

how I used to go to the house of God

    under the protection of the Mighty One

with shouts of joy and praise

    among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?

    Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

    for I will yet praise him,

    my Saviour and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;

    therefore I will remember you

from the land of the Jordan,

    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep

    in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers

    have swept over me.

8 By day the Lord directs his love,

    at night his song is with me—

    a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,

    “Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go about mourning,

    oppressed by the enemy?”

10 My bones suffer mortal agony

    as my foes taunt me,

saying to me all day long,

    “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?

    Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

    for I will yet praise him,

    my Saviour and my God.

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, Hope 

Psalm 42 can be hard to read, especially when you are in a situation or circumstance where you really identify with these words. You might be there right now, calling out why lord? How long Lord? But there is hope there too.

I have a friend, let’s call her Sally.

Sally is a Christian woman who has seen hard times before. Sally spent some years in a POW camp in her youth during WW2. I will not give description to what she endured, but you can well imagine that.

Verse 3: My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” and verse 10: My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” were a daily reality for her.

When I speak to Sally about how she endured that experience and made it to the other side, she usually gives a deceptively simple answer, “God bought me through”. After further probing I hear things like, I always remembered…. a bible promise, a catechism, a bible verse, a song.

She remembered. She held to the truth. When her daily experience would show hopelessness, she knew true and eternal hope. And moment by moment sang hymns to herself, recited bible verses and promises, through pain and anguish she preached the Good news to herself. Even if she barely felt them to be true, she kept on remembering.

We must keep our eyes on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal. When it’s hard, when it seems too much, lift your eyes from the circumstance, to the Saviour.

Head: What Promises can you commit to memory, to help you hold on to truth in hard times?

Heart: Search your heart today, how do you feel about your current circumstances, are you trusting in God through the good and bad of daily life?

Hands: Contact one friend today, share a message of encouragement with them, a bible verse, a story of God being true to his word in your life.

Prayer: Abba father, thank you that you never leave me or forsake me, thank you, Holy Spirit that you live in me and help me to know the truth. Lord today help me to preach the gospel to myself, to anchor my heart with your promises and to trust you. Father help me also when I feel overwhelmed and far away, undone, to experience that peace that transcends all understanding, guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

A song to listen to: We Have Been Healed

Jason Little

This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of The Jesus in series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.

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