Put Your Hope in God

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5

If you read Psalms 42 and 43 this week’s verse will likely catch your attention because it appears word for word three times in these two chapters. Psalm 42 begins with its writer expressing an intense desire for communion with God: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

So why does he lament that his soul is downcast? It’s because he is burdened by the tremendous Godlessness of those around him and by the difficulty of his circumstances. He greatly desires fellowship with God and worship with other believers, but he is confronted with antagonism and opposition, causing him distress and the natural inclination to be downcast in his soul.

Have you ever felt that way, desiring joyous fellowship yet feeling despondent due to the Godlessness of those around you and the difficulty of your circumstances? If you have then take encouragement from this week’s verse as it does two important things than can help us grow in our faith. First, it honestly expresses the writer’s feeling of being downcast from the weight of his challenges. It doesn’t do us any good to pretend we’re not downcast when we are. But like the psalmist, we can address and overcome these feelings by choosing, despite opposition and difficulty, to put our hope in God. Like the psalmist we can be confident that God will not forsake us, and that in the end our hope will be realized, and our faith will be vindicated.

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church