Psalm 5, 38, 41-42: Hope In God!

This is the right way to preach the gospel to yourself in times of trial:

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:5-6

Our tendency is to say “Why God?” when we are going through difficult times, but the Psalmist does not ask this. He does not ask God any question. He asks his own soul “Why?” Why the lack of joy? Why are you in despair? And then, instead of looking inward and “searching his heart” for the answer, he directs his soul to the realty of God’s salvation. He does not continue to probe his soul for a motive or a reason for the despair because looking in ward, only reveals the cause, never the solution to the problem. The solution is the Gospel, the salvation of the Lord. The Gospel reminds us that our sorrows are only temporary, but our joy is eternal. The Gospel makes it possible to say with Paul in Romans 8, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Jerry Bridges reminds us that we spend far too much time listening to ourselves (the despair and sinfulness of our souls) and not enough time talking to ourselves (reminding our souls of the salvation that Christ has brought us through His death and resurrection). Let us seek to change that. Let us speak the good news of God’s salvation to ourselves so that our joy may increase, especially in the midst of suffering and trials. There is much to hope for, so let us say to our souls, “Hope in God!”

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