Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Defeating Doubt, Worry and Fear when things appear Hopeless - Part Three

So when you woke up this morning, did life seem hopeless to you?  There is a great difference between something being hopeless and something “appearing” to be hopeless.  For the true believer in Jesus Christ, there will never be such a thing as a hopeless situation.  However, you and I often experience what are many times situations that “appear to be hopeless”. 

In Psalm 42 and 43 David is talking to himself, within his soul, to pull up out of its despair, and hope in God.  Both Psalms in the original Hebrew were most likely one Psalm, which is why their themes mesh so well.  The refrain “put your hope in God” further supports this observation.  In fact, in the original Hebrew text, Psalm 43 does not have a title, further indicating its connection with Psalm 42.

Psalm 42 begins with these words: “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you.”  You get the sense of dryness, heaviness and weariness in the Psalmist’s words.  I can remember as a boy growing up in Western Pennsylvania how the herds of deer would come off of the rugged Pennsylvania mountains, searching for water.  I would literally watch in the dead of winter as the condensation from their breaths billowed as white fluffy clouds from their parched mouths.  Those deer were literally “panting for water”, like a dog in the middle of summer. 

Clearly the Psalmist’s faith had grown dry, desperate and dark.  However in the midst he cried out the refrain that runs through the length of these two Psalms, recorded for us in 42:5, 11 and 43:5 – “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  And why art thou disquieted in me?  Hope thou in God: For I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

Why was this psalmist able to write such words?  Because testing and trial had galvanized Him in His relationship with God.  True saving faith always perseveres.  Why is it that He found such hope in God?  What did He discover regarding the benefits of hoping in God in defeating the doubt, worry and fear in His life?

1. The God of Hope can revive a dry faith 42:1-5
2. The God of Hope restores joy to a despairing faith 42:6-11
3. The God of hope can return light to a darkened faith 43:1-5

Each time the Psalmist would descend in the depths of dryness, in Psalm 42:1-5 He would look to the God of hope, the help of His countenance.  The phrase “cast down” found in 42:5, 11 and 43:5, comes from a Hebrew word that can be translated – “to dwindle, to sink down”.  Are you experiencing sinking, downward spirals in your Christian life?  Remember, only when you look to the God of Hope can you then be lifted out of your pit. 

The Psalmist in Psalm 42:6-11 had lost his joy.  Yet deep within the depths of his human spirit he could hear the voice of God, rumbling as a mighty waterfall, calling Him to be restored, revived, renewed.  Only the God of Hope would restore such joy. 

Then in Psalm 43:1-5 the Psalmist was facing many enemies who were oppressing him.  He cries out in 43:3 for God to “send his light and truth”.  Clearly no deliverance can take place apart from spending time in the scriptures.  Each time the Psalmist was threatened by darkness, He would turn to the God of Hope, who dispelled it all with His Light. 

As we close, let me encourage you with this thought from Romans 15:13 – “Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

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