Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
In his book, The Faith, Charles Colson has an excellent chapter dealing with the inevitable suffering of the Christian life. Based solidly in Scripture and illustrated with stories of real people, Colson says “suffering belongs to our calling as Christians.” Regarding the inevitability of tough times, Colson writes, “This is why easy-believism, the prosperity gospel, is so abominable: it sets a person up for a terrible fall when the first hardship comes, as it will. Whatever glimmer of faith the person might have had may well be snuffed out.” Then Colson concludes, “So the real question is not whether we will suffer but how we will react to adversity when it comes. We can see it as a miserable experience to be endured, or we can offer it to God for His redemptive purposes.”
Those who follow God will experience difficult times. There will be disappointment and discouragement, relationship break-ups, loss, the death of a loved one, an undesired move, a wayward child, personal rejection, illness—the list goes on. In this life there will be trouble. And God will use each trial to build us and grow us, as Colson says, “for His redemptive purposes.”
Whatever you are going through today, I invite you to join the psalmist’s prayer:
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Repeat this prayer, not as a formula, but as a declaration. Let God infuse real hope, His hope into your heart.