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The Power of Hope

July 15th, 2013

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God…

Psalm 42:5

The psalmist spoke to his soul after a long period of difficulty and isolation. If this came from David, then he likely described his years of hiding out from Saul. He had been called of God and anointed by Samuel as the next king, but the current one, Saul, searched for him to destroy him. But this psalm could have been written by another person as well, it is attributed to the Sons of Korah, and the situation he described is common to us all. There appeared few bright lights on the horizon that offered any real hope; for every good sign, there were several bad ones. But the writer knew of a secure source of hope in his life – the love of God – and this would carry him through.

We are creatures vulnerable to depression and periods of sadness. Our circumstance does not need to be as dire as the psalmist’s was to become even more desolated and dejected. We can succumb to hopelessness very quickly, and with very few outward causes. The loss of a friend, a problem at work, an argument with our spouse, an unexpected expense, or any suspicion that not everyone loves us, and our enthusiasm and joy for life can wilt into despair.

The psalmist’s conversation with his own soul is a talk we should have with our selves. Is our condition truly hopeless? Is the circumstance as dark as we imagine it to be? Is there nothing to be done? And most importantly, is there no God who cares for us and promises to be with us, to help us, to give us peace, to brighten our hope?

God promises to work both within our hearts and through our outward circumstances to bring us through the crisis. His peace can appear in our hearts suddenly, unexpectedly. His help to remedy the outward circumstance can also come on the scene quickly, to our total surprise. But if it does not, He will still be in our hearts to give us comfort and assurance of His help.

We normally do all that we can think to do in order to take care of our problems, assuming that this is the way life should be lived. But for a believer, we are not to just go about our lives thinking and reasoning from a mere human perspective. Rather we are to bring our hearts and minds to God, to allow Him to change our perspective and to gain a new wisdom and a new graciousness.

In periods of sadness, summon the courage of faith in the hope and help of God. He will help you inwardly and outwardly.


Evening Devotionals