Why are you cast down my soul, and why are you in turmoil? Hope in God; for I shall praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:5
In life we have learned that change comes uninvited bringing with it every kind of heartache imaginable. I’m sure we all can relate to that unexpected and hurtful news that ushered in despair into our lives; shattering dreams, converting faith into fear, and bringing on hope’s abrupt departure. This is sadly not uncommon as we make our way in a world that resides in turmoil.
The Psalmist, David, wrote about his soul being down cast several times in Scripture. We probably all have experienced depression, loneliness, and hopelessness to some degree or another in our lives. I remember in my past abusive marriage, that believing in hope could bring as much sorrow to my heart as the wounds that already existed there. So, I steered clear of believing things could change; which inadvertently put me into a deeper depression.
The answer is not running from hope, but embracing Christ and all that he has to offer you in these times of upheaval. It sounds challenging to do, especially when life unravels before your eyes and everything seem out of control, however, it is the only thing that will sustain you and keep you from slipping further into hopelessness.
In another poem of David’s, found in Psalm 43, he again pleads to God for help, for he is mourning all day long because of his oppression. When David prays to God to send forth his Light to lead him and his Truth to guide him, hope is awakened in his soul, and David is then ushered out of his misery and into peace.
Being in the presence of God honestly and wholly, with unedited prayers, is the example David gave to us. These prayers of David are in God’s Word, given to and read by the church, so it is permissible to pray as David did. We sometimes may hold back our anxious or resentful emotions afraid that God may get angry with us. David did not withhold his feelings of fear or hopelessness and the Holy Spirit still came to minister to his soul as you can see at the end of Psalm 43. This is where David found solace; when he spent time in communion with God.
Is your soul downcast, like David’s? Then cry out to the Lord and know he will not forsake you, even though you may feel everything is falling a part. He will meet you where you are with his tender mercy and compassion and comfort your heart with his peace, as he did David’s.
If you are going through trials I would encourage you to write your own unedited psalm to God. Tell him what is on your heart… all your fears, angry, and even concerns about unanswered prayers… without worrying about how he may react. God can handle your emotions.
If all is going well in your life right now, then write a praise psalm to your Heavenly Father, who blesses us with good things.
Afterwards allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and receive the hope that he is offering; because God always offers hope. David fully relied on God to him help in times of trouble as he surrendered his brokenness. I pray hope will not depart from your sou,l but that it will be awakened within you, instead.