Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation (Psalm 42:5).
Notice that this call to worship comes from David, to David. It is David confronting his own doubting, discouraged heart with the truth of who God is.
We may at times be tempted to think that some of the commands in Scripture are unrealistic or overly optimistic–rejoice in the Lord always? Pray without ceasing?
But the fact is the Bible, from Old to New Testaments, is relentlessly realistic about the ravages of sin in our lives, the sorrows of living in a fallen world, and the difficulty of trusting an unseen (sometimes even unfelt) God with our very visible and deeply felt problems.
I will set my hope purposefully and constantly in my purposeful, constant Savior.
Such is the case with this psalm of lament. Although David is described by God as “a man after my own heart,” David wrestled with soul-crushing discouragement at times. And what is the real, relevant solution to such discouragement? David reminds himself, “Hope in God.”
God is more than sufficient for my need. God has promised to help me in my times of trouble. Therefore, my hope will not be in my fleeting circumstances, or fluctuate with my troubled emotions. I will set my hope purposefully and constantly in my purposeful, constant Savior.
Regardless of your situation this morning, you and I need a sermon preached from our heart, to our soul. We need a personally applied call to worship: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? Hope in God.”