Monday, September 14, 2009

Where is Your Hope?

"As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,'Where is this God of yours?'

My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again— my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you— even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life.

'O God my rock,' I cry,'Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies'” Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, 'Where is this God of yours?'

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!"
Psalm 42 NLT

Troubles surround us. Sin buries us in guilt and remorse. Pain wears at our spirit, soul, and body. The human condition. It's not always easy or fun. Our pain and conflict can take our focus off our strength and hope in Jesus Christ. It is so easy to become self-focused and lose sight of God. Sometimes we can even feel that God has lost sight of us.

The psalmist felt this way. He was overwhelmed with grief and pain. What did he do during this time? He admitted his feelings to God, others, and himself. He was honest. No minimizing the situation. No pretense. He made a conscientious decision to remember God's love and grace. No matter the circumstance, he knew that God's love was greater and he would be restored.

In the days we live in, it is crucial that we renew ourselves with confidence in the Lord. Not only is it important to be able to focus our own thoughts on God, but to be encourager's for one another.

Jesus promises to be with us in the trials of life. He gives us strength. Will we receive it? He offers us strength for today and a living hope for tomorrow.

What's your focus? What or who are you putting your hope in?

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