are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The [b]help of my countenance and my God.
Every time I think about walking this way, I smile as well as blink back the tears. It is easy to look at people and think that all is well but is it? Do we understand our place in each other’s lives well enough to really hear from God what they need? Are we positioned with God that he can send us out as His hands and feet.
I think David was wondering why he was in the heart of God’s plan yet he was sad and low right there. Can you imagine the intensity of the wondering? God called David a man after his own heart yet David still had low moments and downward spirals. I often imagine David sitting around the fire in the evening with his men, praising and workshiping as they sought direction from God on the way forward. 1st and 2nd Samuel has many references to David inquiring of the Lord. He did it before battle, he did it for strategy, he did it to remain connected with his Maker.
So what was happening when he wrote verse 5 of Psalms 43? He was going through trouble.
He was downcast and sad, he was disheartened and disquieted, he wasn’t in his usual mood. David takes a moment to acknowledge the state of his heart and mind. He stops moving to look within and identify what is actually happening. He called it by name and dealt with it by name. He called it downcast and disquiet and I like to say looked at it in the face without allowing it to destroy him.
The thing many of us find challenging is to be in the middle of challenging circumstances and still believe that God is good.
David’s young life was challenging but he remained true. He was the youngest brother with much older brothers, and you know what that meant. I mentioned before that he was anointed but went back to feeding sheep and fighting bears, he came to palace as a musician, a servant, the king tried to pin him to the wall with a javelin and when he joined the army and had more victory than Saul, his life was once again in danger. He fled to the Philistines but they too doubted him and sent him back home only to find this people raided.
Later he finally ascended to the throne but it wasn’t smooth either. His best friend died for him to ascend and even if it was the word of God, it hurt to see Jonathan dead. He led the people to victory and established the rule of God but he also did some very foolish things. He failed, stole, killed, envied, yet God sent him reminders to course correct every time and he did. These are the processes that taught him that indeed God is supreme and reliable. This process taught him that God doesn’t change ever.
When he was down, David took charge of himself and spoke to his spirit, ‘Hope in God;’
- He meant believe in the Lord, the one who thought about you, created your essence, found your place in life and positioned you there to achieve a set end for Him.
- He meant, trust the word spoken over your life and stand on the promise of that word no matter what.
- He meant sing praise and live out praise, raise an altar of praise with your life and allow God’s joy to fill you and become your strength.