Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
As we read Psalm 42, notice the psalmist is struggling with some depression and feeling isolated from God. His feelings of isolation may have come from an absence of fellowship with God or discouragement from others. Whatever the cause, the feelings are real and recorded for our benefit. This time of year can bring depressing thoughts of loneliness and despair. Not being able to spend time with loved ones, during the Christmas season, can become extremely overwhelming to those alone.
I remember the first Christmas I spent without my husband, Glen. We were opening presents with the grandchildren on Christmas morning. I recall thinking, “I’m doing so well, I haven’t even cried this morning.” My children brought out a gift that my husband had purchased for me while he was still living. Then I cried! The realization of someone being in heaven and still giving gifts was overpowering and huge. The act of kindness shown by my children made me truly thankful for their love and concern for their mother. It was a Christmas I will never forget.
Have you wrestled with the emotions expressed in Psalm 42? Has your soul been “cast down,” within you? Are you facing challenges at this time and need to see the hand of God working in your life? Psalm 42 reveals the character of God and ways He will help you “walk by faith,” when you are downcast and depressed.
Riding upon the storms of life with Christ as your anchor will without a doubt give you strength to endure. Knowing you have complete access and pleasure in His presence is most definitely the cure for sorrow. When you rely upon yourself for help and strength, you may begin to sink in the midst of the storm. But, when you hold on to the promises of God, He keeps your head above the billowing waves and comforts your tempestuous heart. Don’t let Christmas bring anything but joy and gladness to your heart. Set your affections on the things above and allow your mind to ponder the glorious gospel of Christ.
Prayer: Lord, may I keep my heart and mind fixed upon You with a thrusting in my soul for the true and living God.