How in the world did I end up here? I am the happy person. The one people want to know where my joy comes from. The one that doesn’t seem to have any problems. Yet, I find myself in this place.
This is the ebb and flow of life. Living in the joy of knowing that I am loved and redeemed and in the despair that I can never measure up to who He has designed me to be.
Perhaps it has to do with heart issues that affect the way we feel? We’ve been talking about loving God with all her heart and turning our hearts back to him, but the question remains how do we really do that? How do we turn our hearts back to God when they’ve chosen other things and other people. How do we become face-to-face again with God?
In Psalm 42:5 the Psalmist asks, “Why so downcast O my soul” and then he goes on to say, “put your trust in God.”
Interestingly all of Psalm 42 gives us a picture of someone who once had an intimate relationship with God but now feels the distance. He writes,
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Have you been here; Totally set free to love Jesus, desiring to be in His presence?
So what happens to us that we find ourselves like the Psalmist crying out in verse 5
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.
Downcast- Bowed down, crouching, sinking
Disturbed means literally,
to growl as a bear;
to sound, or make a noise, as a harp, rain, waves;
to be agitated, troubled, or anxious in mind: to moan internally. (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible )
Here is my version of the verse,
Why soul are you bowed down, sinking under the weight that you are feeling? Why are you so agitated and growling like a bear?
Life is full of struggles. Each of us face little ones and big ones on a daily basis.
Feelings of insecurity, anxiety, anger, resentment, jealousy….
When we turn our heart toward God and see who He is, our hearts can once again rejoice even in the midst of struggles. This is the reason that we can rejoice in the Lord always. Struggles come and go, but His character stays the same!
It is then that we can begin to understand what the psalmist was talking about at the end of Psalm 42:5-6
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.
My soul is downcast within me;therefore I will remember you
Let’s focus today on turning our hearts to praising God.
The act of praise flows out of our reverence and gratitude for God. When we praise God for who He is we are invited into a deeper relationship with Him. Praise turns our heart focus from our struggles to the unchanging character of God.
Full of glory Psalm 138:5
Great Psalm 145:3
Wise and powerful Daniel 2:20
Good Psalm 107:8
Merciful and faithful Psalm 89:1
The One who saves us Psalm 18:46
Keeps His promises 1 Kings 8:56
Forgives sin Psalm 103:1-3
Praising God turns our hearts back to Him and when we do, we find peace.
Isaiah 26:3 We will have perfect peace when we trust him