Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 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. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon-from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, 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 must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Have you ever felt like your life’s been completely uprooted and turned upside down?  Maybe it was the betrayal of someone close, a job loss, a health scare or unexpected diagnosis, a miscarriage, a broken relationship, or the act of physically being uprooted and having to move somewhere new.  At age 42, I’ve lived in 2 countries, 5 states, and have had almost 20 different addresses in my lifetime.  I know a little something about being completely uprooted.  When we find ourselves in the midst of uncertainties or difficult struggles, our natural tendencies lead us to confusion, anxiety, worry, sadness, and sorrow.  Yet as believers, we should never lose hope just as David never lost hope in Psalm 42.

King David is located physically far from the sanctuary in Jerusalem (verse 6: “I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.”) and is being oppressed by his enemies.  In his state of sorrow, David thirsts for God, longing for the days of being in the Lord’s house where he could be close to Him (verse 2: “when can I go and meet with God?”).  Though his soul is in turmoil, he remembers God’s goodness and His love (verse 8: “By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me”).  

And just as “deep calls to deep” (verse 7), David knows God’s love reaches and covers over him, even on the distant mountaintops.  God has not forgotten him!  Though his soul is downcast, David is repeatedly able to cry out “hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (verse 5 and verse 11).  In spite of his circumstances, he never gives up hope, knowing his salvation is ultimately in God and God is faithful to His promises.

During this season of Lent, remember that through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have an everlasting hope that can never be taken away, no matter what difficult circumstances we encounter.   So whatever you may be facing today, know that the Lord has not forgotten you, nor forsaken you.  Press on, knowing that our heavenly Father is working all things “for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).  Put your hope in the God of salvation.

The GRC Children’s Ministry is also providing a family Lenten Devotional which is available here.

Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.

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