Troubles in Life
By Companion Jack A. Holloway
Illustrous Associate Grand Chaplain, Grand Council of Florida
Trouble (Photo Credit: Dreamstime)
"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." -Psalm 42:5
"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." -Psalm 42:11
I am sorry to tell you that most of us will not live a trouble-free life, and many people will have serious life-changing problems to cope with. David wrote Psalm 42 when he was being chased around the country by those who wanted him dead and looks at his situation from two different viewpoints. Many of the Psalms use the writing style of contrasting two themes and using the middle verse to summarize the main point of the Psalm. Whenever I read a Psalm I am not familiar with I read the middle verse first to get a clue. In this Psalm, it is so important that it is repeated at the end of the second half.
First, we look back at the way things used to be and long for those times as a deer in the desert longs for a cold stream. The second outlook is to dwell on our present problems and let despondency dominate our days. One definition of depression is 'wishing that things were different than they are'. In this Psalm, David is talking to himself, to his very soul, and his answer to both types of thinking is telling himself to keep his hope in God and continue to praise Him as his Sovereign Savior who gives that peace which surpasses all understanding. Writing this made me think of words from an old church hymn.
When all thy mercies O my God
My rising soul surveys
Transported with the view
I'm lost in wonder, love and praise.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace and the many mercies in my life, and thank you for the promise that all things work together for good to those who love you. Amen.