“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 42.11
It has been my experience that even the strongest Christian experiences times of despair. That’s how life is. But the psalmist here gives us practical advice for dealing with those moments. Moving beyond these two opening phrases, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?” we come to this phrase: “Hope thou in God … ” That is not just a “neat idea”. That is wisdom wrapped up in a nugget. There is NO other person or thing that can take the place of our hope in God. We may try to fill that place in our heart with something else, but nothing else can do what God alone can do – give hope.
When the Bible speaks of hope, it is not used in the same sense that we use it now. We say something like, “I hope so” meaning it may or may not happen. But hope in God is NEVER misplaced and always yields a true sense of peace.
“I shall yet praise him” simply states that no matter what else may be part of the issue I am facing, “yet” nothing can keep me from praising Him. The psalmist realized that “the health of my countenance” was somehow wrapped up in finding his hope in God. I wonder how many reading this have an unhealthy countenance? Could that be so because you have not put your hope in God and consequently cannot yet praise him?
When we make God the only one who can give us a healthy countenance, then we can say with the psalmist that He (God) is “My God.” Just my thoughts …