Devotional

Psalm 42

Hope Holds Us Together

INTRODUCTION

Some days, it feels like life is unraveling. The impact and disruption of Coronavirus seems to increase every passing hour. Many of us are already experiencing the loneliness of physical distancing, feeling the financial sting of work closures and facing fear and anxiety as we hear about the scarcity of hospital supplies and increasing number of those who are infected.  How do we keep it together when we feel like we are about to lose it?

Imagine writing a line like this: “My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3). The writer of Psalm 42 clearly is in the midst of deep sorrow and pain. We don’t know the source of the writer’s suffering, but it’s made worse as others taunt that God must have abandoned the writer in this moment. Rather than despair, the writer launches into a kind of pep talk. He doesn’t dismiss or downplay his genuine agony, but urges his soul to fixate on the spark of God’s hope in the darkness.  He realizes that His thirsty soul can only be satisfied only by deep gulps of God’s saving love. When our lives unravel, hope in God holds us together.

Read Psalm 42 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. In verse 9, the writer questions why God has forgotten him, expressing his honest experience and even frustration with God. Do your prayers to God honestly reflect how you feel? Do you feel invited to pray in this way, or do you feel hesitant? Why do you think that is? 
    • What is a prayer of total honesty that you could bring to God today?
  2. Seasons of significant loss and trial can be opportunities to hope in God more fully, as the writer of the Psalm expresses. How would you describe what it means to “hope in God?” Read a few scriptures of these scriptures on hope (Romans 5:4-5, Romans 15:13, Romans 6:19) to give you additional perspective. 
    • What would it look like in your life to hope in God a little more today than yesterday? 
  3. Pastor Donearl challenged us to emulate the writer of Psalm 42 in speaking the truth to ourselves, rather than just listening to ourselves. What truths can we take from this Psalm that we can use to do that?
    •  What is one habit you can develop that will fill your heart and mind with truth during this season?

REFLECTION

Write out your own version of Psalm 42 this week. Include statements that honestly express how you feel and even questions you may have of God. Then, write about an experience in your own life where God demonstrated why he is trustworthy. Conclude with an affirmation of your hope in God because of who God is.

SPEAK OUT LOUD AND KEEP IN MIND

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.

Psalm 42:11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *