By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Throughout Psalms 42 and 43, the psalmist says that the answer to emotional depression is hope. Three times he encouraged himself to “hope in God” (42:5, 42:11, and 43:5).
The more specifically we can define our hope, the better we can recognize it when our hope is fulfilled. The psalmist listed his hopes in the first four verses of Psalm 43. Like the psalmist, we place our hope in:
God’s Power to Deliver (Psalm 43:1). This is the psalmist’s cry: “Justify me, defend and support me.” The Lord will remind us of His faithfulness in the past and assure us that He is continuing to walk with us during our difficult situation.
God’s Presence and Protection (Psalm 43:2). Why should we mourn when God is our strength and our stronghold? In the swirling tides of relativism and permissiveness, and with the destruction of moral values, His fortress of truth remains steadfast.
God’s Direction (Psalm 43:3). While under the cloud of hopelessness, it is easy to make wrong decisions. Scripture says that the Word of God is a light (Psalm 19:8, 119:105, 119:130; Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19). Through the Word, God gives us the answers that we need.
God as Our Joy (Psalm 43:4). If we seek joy from our feelings or from comfortable circumstances, then we will be constantly disappointed. If we find joy in the Lord and in His Word, then we will experience hope even in hopeless situations.
It is essential that we focus our hope not on the counterfeit substitutes the world offers, but on Christ—as only a Christian can do.
Prayer: God, thank You for being my hope when I’m feeling hopeless. Thank You for Your power to deliver. Thank You for Your presence, protection, and direction. Thank You for being my joy. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“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” (Psalm 43:5).