When despair strikes…

Posted: October 15, 2014 in psalms

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Psalm 42:12

I know what it feels like to be scorned. I know what it feels like when you like someone and that person chooses to ignore me, as if I don’t exist. I also happen to know the feeling of being lonely, or alone, with thoughts swirling in my head that ‘no one cares’ and the whole world seems to turn against me. Sometimes, my security is based on what I can do, what my accomplishments are, and what I’m going to become one day.

The setting of the psalm should be a reminder of who the writer is. He is the son of Korah, the guy who rebelled against Moses. Their line is forever associated with ‘cursed’, ‘rebels’, ‘outcasts’, and they know the feeling of not being wanted, of being ignored and shunned, of being isolated, alone, of being in despair, and other synonyms related to being taunted and maltreated. They knew. They could have been bitter, or cynical, or whiners, or go into the blame game that it was their grandfather who sinned and not them. They could have blamed everything or everyone but they did not.

They chose to worship instead.

Worship leads our eyes from ourselves towards God. It takes our focus away from the ‘me’ and fixes our attention upward. As I was talking with one of the campus missionary on our way to the youth service, we were talking about the depravity of the heart that even if we ‘surrender’ to God, we have the tendency to try to do something. We want ‘work’ so we plan on doing something. The focus is still the self. That’s why we need grace even in worship.

Why are you cast down? What bothers you? What keeps you on paranoia mode? Doubt, fear, insecurity, the poverty mindset, persecution, mistrust, you name it. Tell of your situation and we realize that each person has a sad story to tell.

Instead of being anxious and sink in the slough of despondency, we must reply in the way the psalmist did. Put your hope in God…why?

He is salvation.

Ponder on that. How many times did the Lord save you? And He is still continually working on you. Praise instead of complain. Focus on Him instead of the problems.

If the sons of Korah can worship, so can I.


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