Monday, July 3, 2017

Moving From Discouragement to Praise!

Psalm 43

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my 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.

Today's psalm looks remarkably similar to yesterday.  In the midst of challenging circumstances, the psalmist is reaching out to God with the familiar words, "Why, my soul are you so downcast? Why so disturbed witin me?"  We can all appreciate his honesty.  But notice what he asks for.  He prays for God's light and faithful care to guide him.  And where?  Back into His presence. And he promises that as God provides his light and care, that he will lead the people in praise.  His worthlessness will change to worship.  

One commentator has said, "We see that at the end of the psalm none of the circumstances of the psalmist have changed - only his attitude, and what a difference that makes! "Not yet has the answer come. The darkness and the mystery are still about him, but the shining way is seen; and again the soul is forbidden to despair and hope is encouraged in God." (Morgan)

Believers will go through times of discouragment.  But what can we can learn in today's psalm.  The psalmist's discouragement does not lead to despair, but an opportunity to consciously choose to praise God.  When we trust in God for our help, we may not see a change in our circumstances but we can continue to praise God, and be a light to others who suffer similar circumstances.  

Where can choosing to praise God today, help change your perspective in an area of your life causing your soul to be downcast?

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