Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11)
You may recognize this Psalm from it’s opening verse: As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. Three times the Psalmist asks the above question, and comes to the same decision, twice in this Psalm and once in Psalm 43.
He answers these questions in these two psalms. Here is a list of why he is discouraged and sad:
- He is unable to go and stand before the LORD.
- Day and night I have only tears for food
- His enemies continually taunt him
- His heart is breaking
- He remembers how it used to be, but not how it is now.
- The raging seas, waves and surging tides of God sweep over him
- “Why have you forgotten me?”
- “Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?”
- Their taunts break his bones.
- They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”
- Why have you tossed me aside?
- Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?
There are certainly enough reasons to be discouraged and sad. Now there are some verses in the midst of these complaints which offer hope and light, but he still ends each Psalm with the same questions and answers: Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God.
At the end of this self-diagnosis of despair and sadness, he makes a choice: I WILL put my hope in God. I WILL praise Him again. We all know life can be filled with despair and discouragement; with sadness. But there comes a choice: whether you let your emotions, your biochemistry, your mood, your ‘tude, your feelings, your circumstance, your situation, your whatever, impact your relationship with your Heavenly Father. You must not. You MUST choose Jesus.
Paul writes of a similar theme in Romans 5: And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (v. 3-5)
Whatever you’re facing, whatever you’re feeling, choose to put your hope in God. Choose to praise Him again. He will not disappoint.