“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 42:11 ESV
Psalms 42 and 43 are actually one poem/song with this verse used as the refrain (42:5, 13, and 43:5). It beautifully captures the struggle of one individual's struggle with discouragement but well echoes the emotional experience of the entire human race. The author is having one of those inner conversations, struggles, and debates we have with ourselves that make us question our condition. There are two ways this scripture can be interpreted. The person is going through a discouraging time and is feeling the need to reconnect with God. Or, they are admonishing themselves; questioning why they are discouraged when they know that God cares for them, and they are looking forward to praising God for his continued deliverance. Which is true? Based on past experiences I would say both! There are times when we are discouraged and need to reconnect with God — we need a little “revival” of our souls. We also know with certainty that God cares deeply for us in all situations, and despite this, our instinct is to get discouraged.
God, we give you thanks for your unfailing grace towards your children. There are times we get discouraged even though we have absolute certainty of your love. Help us in those times to remember your salvation and give you praise. Amen.