Tuesday, September 30, 2008

HOPE for Despair

The Psalmists, worship leaders who had been deported from their homeland and house of worship – the dwelling place of God – found themselves in despair and discouragement. They write two songs about it - Psalm 42 and 43. Ever been there?

In the pain of these songs they describe their feelings: “waves and breakers have swept over me” (Psalm 42:7); "My tears have been my food day and night"(Psalm 42:3); and “My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me” (Psalm 42:10).

However, even in that situation they found HOPE by:

(1) Thirsting after God and seeking intimate fellowship with Him (Psalm 42:1,2).

(2) Journaling how they felt (their journal is the Psalm that we read).

(3) Asking the deep inner questions (“Why are you so downcast?” - Psalm 42:5,11; Psalm 43:5) and waiting on God for the answers.

(4) Finding Hope in God because of His character (He is a Rock - Psalm 42:9; a Stronghold - Psalm 43:2; their Savior - Psalm 42:5; is alive and listens; has a history of integrity - Psalm 42:4; & has the power and the will to bring hope and joy.)

(5) Praying

(6) Focusing on worshiping in the past, in the present, and in the future.

Are you downcast? God is the Author of HOPE. These steps worked for the Psalmists and they work for us today.

Trusting in the God who gives HOPE ~ Bob

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