Day 7: Psalm 43
Welcome to the 2nd week in our series “Awake My Soul”.
We finished last week on Psalm 23 and today we’re going to fast forward to Psalm 42.
The tag line of this series is ‘Psalms to stir your faith’. I think that sentiment is articulated so well within some of the verses of this Psalm.
As we’ve already seen in this series of devotions, the book of Psalms gives us insight into the feelings, frustrations and personal prayers of the authors.
For me this has always been an encouragement:
To know that God doesn’t expect us to always have it together and that God is not afraid of us pouring our hearts to him in prayer.
The Psalm starts with a description of what it means to be desperate for an encounter with God.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
For those old enough, I know your mind has already taken you back to a worship song from a long time ago! I remember singing this Psalm in Church as a child and finding it particularly funny that we were singing about pants! (Please forgive me!)
But the word “pants” is actually the key phrase within this sentence.
It describes a desire to be in the presence of God, that is stronger and more urgent than anything else.
To ‘pant’ for something means to “yearn, long for, or to crave”
Some descriptions go on to say “to be consumed with desire.”
What we see here is someone with a desperate desire in their relationship with God.
A longing to not just go through the motions, not to just drift along … but a longing for the closeness of Gods presence.
That’s a challenge to all of us, no matter how long you’ve been a christian.
Never lose your longing, for an encounter with God.
As the Psalm goes on, we see the writer continue to be honest with God about their fears & frustrations, but interspersed with the reminder of the anchor of Gods presence.
Both verse 5 & 11 tell us:
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
I love the reality of this verse!
The ability to recognise that all of us have times when we feel downcast, depressed or despondent. However, we never have be overwhelmed or overcome by our emotions.
We can allow our faith to have authority over our feelings!
We can recognise our emotions and then take authority over them, through Christ!
The Apostle Paul teaches us the same thing in 2 Cor 10:5 when he teaches us to:
Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.
Feelings, fears & frustrations are common, especially in all that this year has thrown at us!
However, we always have authority over them and through Christ we always have HOPE.
He is our firm foundation. The anchor for our souls.
Ps Ben Dowding