Black Cloudy Maze (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 112)
Psalm 42:11 (NLT)
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!
David asks a compelling question here: Why am I discouraged? He follows that up with a second question: Why is my heart so sad? All of us can find one time or another in our lives when we faced these kinds of thoughts. While his troubles seemed to persist at the moment, he knew this was not the way he had to live. Discouragement can be difficult to break out of. But this verse offers a very realistic reminder in two ways.
First, the writer is just like all of us. He is human and his inner feelings and hurts have gotten him to a point of disappointment. Instead of wallowing in it, he decides to ask questions. This helps him arrive at a conclusion to find a way out of the black cloudy maze. Like him, our own hearts will be sad by the affairs of this life. But if we begin to question why we are feeling such a way, we may begin to arrive at some answers.
Second, the writer arrives at the solution to his discouragement. There are two things he decides to do. He decided to hope in God and to give praise for all that He has done. In the deepest throes of despair and despondency, we can turn our attention to God and place our hope in Him. Expressing gratefulness can be the antithesis to feelings of discouragement. A heart that is filled with appreciation and thanksgiving for the blessings that one has can turn a blue day into a joyful one.
David says he WILL do these things. His will denotes his intentionality behind the fact. When we deliberately and consciously look up and look ahead with joy and gratitude, we set ourselves up to overcome discouragement. It is of great benefit to think again and again about the goodness and grace of God. The ability to place our hope in Someone more powerful than we are enables us to experience triumph over pain and courage instead of fear. This is how God wants His children to live.
“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’”
— Billy Graham