Our family is hurting. Once again, a terrible disaster has struck; this time in the form of a typhoon in the Philippines. Again, lives have been changed, many thousands have ended, in an instant. Pain, sorrow, hunger, anger, confusion, and desperation. God please help, and show us how we can help one another. Help us to understand that these are members of our family in need of deep encouragement.
The song writer wrote a wonderful praise chorus with the words, “As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after you.” We have sung that song many times bringing to mind our longing after God and our great anticipation and desire to be in His presence. Unfortunately, this is a limited view of what this phrase meant when it was used in the psalms.
Psalm forty-two and forty-three were originally written as a single psalm. This can be seen by reading the two psalms together and witnessing the consistent flow and seamless message. In these psalms the writer remembers what it was like to praise God but is currently at a point where praise does not seem possible. He longs to be with God but he can’t; “men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?'” (Psalm 42:3). He is being oppressed and in the middle of excessive trials; “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” (Psalm 42:9).
Psalm forty-three continues by asking God for vindication and protection; “rescue me from deceitful and wicked men” (Psalm 43:1). The writer desperately wants to praise but is unable. God seems distant and uninvolved, and the enemy is fierce. But in spite of the challenges, the writer is confident God will one day return.
Psalm 42:11 and 43:5
“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.”
A deer that pants after water is desiring something it cannot have. There is a barrier keeping the deer from the water, and so the deer pants in frustration. The writer is at the frustrating point of panting, but is reassured that there will one day be true reason to praise.
Many people woke up this morning wondering if they will ever be able to praise God. Some are facing floods and death; and many others are facing the pain of feeling distant from God. And yet, we have so many reasons to praise, so many reasons to declare His goodness and grace. Jesus told us we would have troubles in this world but then said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Through all the confusion, anger and doubt, He is still our “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
I pray that God will use these words to minister in a mighty way today. I pray they will find their way to those of our family who are in great need. We all have reason for hope. He will never leave us, will never stop calling our name. Let’s resolve to face our trials, no matter how great, and confidently proclaim “I will yet praise!”
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Nov 12 Ezekiel 24:1-26:21; Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 27:14