Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalm 42:11  

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness. 2 Corinthians 3:12

Many of us are sad during this time of the year when so many seem to be so joyful. Perhaps there is a long-term sadness, even depression. Or perhaps something sad is associated with this time of the year. Some days seem better, then again some days have more sadness. Often we go back and forth between the stresses and the joys. David, the probable author of psalm 42, would understand this very well. Psalm 42 begins with the image of a deer panting for water, perhaps having run from enemies and now thirsty.. David says in the same way, his soul pants for the Lord as a source of hope. He is seeking the Lord, not having lost his faith even though banished.  

In verse 11, after reading several rounds of how downcast he is, interspersed with recognition of God’s faithful presence, we reach the conclusion of the Psalm. Once again the Psalmist’s soul is sad, unhappy, yet the conclusion is that there is hope in God. He will again praise God who he recognizes as the help he needs. One commentator says the Psalm “describes the psalmist's intense dejection, but he acknowledges the Lord's power to control the storms of life. He views God as the God of his life and his Rock, and he tells his troubled soul again to hope in God and be assured that he will praise God again as his deliverer and his God.”  Faith gets the last word to silence all the complaints.  

So we also see in Paul’s words to the Corinthians. The contrast is to when they were living under the law and didn’t realize God’s grace. Now there is the hope of God’s grace and salvation through Jesus Chris. Because of this, Paul and the other followers of Christ can act boldly. Even if imprisoned they still didn’t waver from their faith and the importance of spreading the Gospel message. After all, in the end, faith gets the last word.      

God of hope, when our spirits fall and our hope is challenged, remain with us. Send your uplifting Spirit to lift us to a new awareness of your love and grace in all matters. Help us to live humbly and faithfully right here and now, In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Chris Gabel