Psalm 42 is known for the first few verse – as the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants [longs] for you. This has such a beautiful imaginative picture attached to it. One can’t help but think of a roe running through the fields or forest and desires refresh water, to then find a stream of flowing water readily available. Such are the good times in the Lord. God can be counted on for sustenance and providence in our lives. It seems that for most believers as long as “everything is going their way” then God is a good, if not great God in their estimation. But when life becomes chaotic or a crisis arrives, we panic and wonder where is God. David has for several Psalms reflected on both the good times and glorious work of Jehovah in his life and praises Yahweh for the wonderful provisions. David also seems to cry out a lot about his enemies that are trying to destroy him and end his life. He asks God to take care of those who hunt him and are wickedly trying to kill him. As I said above the first few verse of Psalm 42 reflect a thirsting believer who is engulfed in the love of God. However, if you keep reading we find there is two similar passages that reflect quite a different perspective of God. Verses 5 and 11, describe a hopelessness and even questions “where is God?” Specifically, David asks “why am I cast down, why am I in despair – without hope, disheartened, distressed and in anguish? Something has disrupted the tranquil time of life. I am not sure what it was; but to do find that we often are distracted by the “events” of life and get stressed out about our fallen world. It is in the crisis times that our faith is made strong. The dependency on what God can do and not ourselves. I just finished teaching the Winter Bible Study – 1 Peter, Living as pilgrims in the world. Peter was trying to encourage the believers who were going through a “fiery” ordeal. Peter didn’t admonish them to “bear arms” and get rid of the problem. Peter addressed the fact that all believers, those who desire to live godly will be persecuted. Peter goes on to tell his audience that they need to be in submission to every institution of man. What!! heresy you say? Yep that is exactly he told them. About the persecution, “get ready for it, because it is coming!” Suffering in life is not unique, it “rains on the just and the unjust.” The difference is how each of use handle it. Believers have the power and hope of God. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us a “living hope” that will enable us to endure with patience the trials and tribulations of life. Peter tells them “don’t complain about persecution/discipline if you have been doing wrong. It is better to suffer for doing right if the Lord wills it. I know right now many of you are going – that’s insane. It gets better, we as believers should welcome the suffering for the name of Jesus. [Matthew 5:10-12] We are blessed if we suffer. In as much as we suffer with Christ we shall also be partakers of His glory. Paul said, that I may know Him and the fellowship of His suffering Phil 3:10. I did learn not just from 1st Peter but other places that most people have a problem with submission and subjection; basically it is a “control issue.” Whether it is a to a wife, husband or a boss, people don’t want someone telling them what to do. I have also discovered that for most believers, the Christian life is about getting saved, missing Hell and living like you want after you have been baptized. Way wrong – we are to continue to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus [Romans 8:29] Our witness to the world as we “walk through the fiery trials” will be testimony of God’s mercy and grace.
David remembers the great love of God and how the Lord had always been there through good and bad times. David places his Hope in the eternal love of God, rather than the temporary circumstances of life. Answering the question of our critics “Where is your God?” Well, I am glad you asked, He is with me, He said He would never leave me or forsake me! Believers God is for us – if He is for us, then who can be against us? Romans 8 is a wonderful reminder of how secure we are in Christ!