Today’s reading Psalm 42.
I have to admit I struggled a little bit to understand exactly what the psalmist was saying here, as it seemed like he was contradicting himself. Come to find out after reading studying up a bit more, he is.
In fact, I bet as we read this more closely we can all greatly relate to the psalmist struggle.
In Psalm 42:3, he says…
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
In Psalm 42:5, he says…
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?….”
Again, in Psalm 42:9….
“Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
Lastly, in Psalm 42:11…
Why are you cast down, O my soul, why are you in turmoil within me?
Can’t we all relate to complaining to God about our circumstances? There are times in our life, or even just certain areas of our life over longer periods (or even our whole life), where things just don’t seem to go our way. When we ask God, “Why?” We cry out to God, “Can’t one thing just go my way? Where are you when I need you? I’m doing everything I think you want, but I just can’t seem to catch a break! Are you still there, God? Do you really love and care about me?” And worse yet, sometimes you feel like there may be others that are happy about your challenges and problems as the psalmist describes in his situation (Psalm 42:3,10.)
Then, in his next breaths he seems to be praising God though…
Here in the 2nd part of Psalm 42:5…
“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation, and my God.”
In the 2nd part of Psalm 42:11….
Hope in my God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
He talks about in Psalm 42:4 how he would lead the procession to praise God, and then in Psalm 42:6 he remembers past successes God has helped him. Do you remember Psalm 42:9 where he complains from above? Well, he actually calls God, “my rock” in 42:9 before doing so.
The psalmist is facing the struggle I believe nearly all of us face where we are going through tough times, yet we try to still praise God but our heart is just not in it sometimes they way it should be. When we try to say we know God is in control, and He’s got us…yet maybe we wonder or doubt. He’s trying talk himself into coming back to what He knows to be true. He’s trying to remind himself that God loves him. God has him and to trust Him. God is in control. And God has a plan and His will is perfect.
The psalmist is as some would say, ‘keeping it real,” with how many of us feel or have felt at times. Are you feeling this way right now? If so, I would encourage you to check out Romans 8. If you’re in a good spot in your walk with the Lord currently, put a bookmark in Romans 8 because you may want to come back to it in the future. I would love to unpack this more but that’s just too much for today, and I really think these few verses say all that really needs to be said anyway.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with graciously give us all things?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who love us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.