Archive for January, 2016

Psalm 42:4-11 Trust in God

January 4, 2016

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?”

As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalm 42:4-11

Duane Brown plays left tackle for the Houston Texans. He is a very good player, an All Pro player, and the cornerstone of the Texans’ offense. Yesterday, in the last game of the regular season, with his team on the verge of winning their conference, he suffered an injury that will end his season. What a terrible disappointment for him and for his team.

I thought about Duane this morning. What it would be like to be in his position. The Texans have never been really good in the years he has been playing here. He was here when the Texans were the worst team in the league. He has already realized that making the playoffs, let alone moving forward in the playoffs, is not a given. It isn’t automatic. Many players, even great players, never get there in their entire career. Now Duane is going to be watching from the sidelines, looking forward to surgery, and a summer of painful rehab.

Welcome to the first work week of our new year! I trust that we all come into this year with high expectations and lofty goals. No doubt lots of great things will happen in 2016 but there will also be deep disappointments. There always are. The two takeaways from Psalm 42 that might be helpful to us as we move into this year.

First, like we all tend to do, the psalmist asks God, “Why have you forgotten me?” We can certainly understand how the bitter pain of disappointment can give rise to the thought that God has forgotten us. That is how it feels. But that isn’t the reality. This one is pretty simple: God doesn’t forget stuff. God has a great memory – for everything except our sin. The Bible says that what God forgives, God forgets. But beyond that, God remembers everything. Especially the people God loves. Which includes us, even if that is hard to trust when we are disappointed by ourselves or by the circumstances of our lives.

And second, the psalm ends with the reminder to “hope in God.” Those are good words any time of year, in any situation. Through all the chances and changes of life, hope in God. Through crushing disappointment and momentary celebration, trust in God. Trust in God. Trust in God.

Let us pray: Lord, you are our Rock and our Redeemer. You know the hairs of our heads. You see where we cannot see; you see us when it seems we cannot see you. Birth hope is us as we begin this new year. May we, in all things, trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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