The Hope of God
Psalm 42:5 “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.” (NIV)
Many years ago in 1923, a song was written “You’re the Cream in my Coffee”, and it went on to describe how much this young man needed the love of the young lady intended. I was humming it the other day trying to remember some of the things that just go together with one another that demonstrate inseparability, or simply two things belong with one another.
The lyrics were clever:
You’re the cream in my coffee; you’re the salt in my stew…
You’re the starch in my collar; you’re the lace in my shoe…
You will always be my necessity; I’d be lost without you….
You get the point. When two things go together and cannot exist separate from the other, we have a deep and abiding need for belonging and togetherness. This is most true between man and his God, and in Psalm 42 we find the elegant words of David driving home this essential principle of the spiritual life. Psalm 42 is an altar of worship to our God, and a psalm we simply must dwell on to absorb its great truths and meaning. David makes the material point in Psalm 42:1 that we need God just as a deer needs water on a hot summer day in Israel. There is no surviving if that deer doesn’t have water, and for man there is no surviving if he doesn’t have God.
Unfortunately, much of mankind goes about their business self-directed to other pursuits and objectives, and fails to find answers to their search for meaning, since only a deep and abiding relationship with God can provide that. The inevitable feeling that results when we get lost in this world and take our focus off of seeking God is discouragement, soon followed by dismay and despair. Our devotional text points us to what our response must be every time when our faith is shaken, optimism and confidence clouded, or our direction in life challenged. David writes that we must turn our eyes to God and recall his presence, power, and purpose in our lives, and shout out to him in praise as our personal Savior and God.
There can be no substitute or replacement for God in our lives. Many try to ignore, turn away, or become absorbed in alternative philosophies and priorities; but it will not suffice nor sustain the spirit of man, since only God can possibly do that. Whenever we lose our way or get stuck in life, always stop and recall God’s presence, and pray for his help. What will happen every time, if you will open up your heart and commit your life to God, is found in Psalm 42:8, that God will communicate with you day and night by showering his love on you in the day and giving you a song at night, which is a prayer to the God of your life. God will never leave you, forsake you, or stop loving you, for you are his creation and he has bought you with a price. When you are in despair or doubt, please recall God, put your hope in him, and praise his name. God will recover, restore, and reward your love for him every single time.
THANK YOU, MY FATHER, FOR YOUR GREAT LOVE, AND WHEN I LOSE MY WAY AND DESPAIR, HELP ME TO PUT MY HOPE IN YOU AND PRAISE YOUR NAME. AMEN!