Psalm 42:11 "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."
This is the chapter that begins with "As a deer pants for water."
And those first couple verses are a beautiful picture of dependence on God. This verse really struck me, though. It's very applicable to me right now. My soul is kind of downcast. I'm struggling through a lot of emotional stuff. The last few days have been hard. But where am I placing my hope?
It is very easy to get overwhelmed and knocked down by the struggles of life. I deal with that a lot. The key to getting back up, though, is to lift my gaze. Focus on God; praise Him even when you don't feel like it. And He will lift you up.
Psalm 43:1 "Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; rescue me from deceitful and wicked men."
I know how David feels, at odds with his culture, surrounded by ungodliness on all sides. That's what is happening in America. My world is rapidly changing and growing farther from God. And not just growing apart, but rather running away as fast as possible. That's the world I live in, will maybe raise kids in someday. It's terrifying.
God is my Protector in all of it, though. He is my Vindicator, my Defender, my Rock. No matter what happens in this world, He does not change. I can rely on that. No matter how bad things get here, my future is secure. He won't leave me alone.
I also find it interesting that David closes the chapter with exactly the same wording he used in the previous one: "Why so downcast…Put your trust in God…" I don't think I've seen that in any other Psalms before. It reminds me of the importance of turning my gaze back to God, again and again. It's so easy to let my gaze slip back to my problems. It takes a deliberate effort to turn my focus back to praise instead.
What do you see in these verses? What has God been showing you lately in the Scriptures? Let me know in the comments!