Sunday, 5 July 2020 Psalm 38
For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. -Psalm 38:15
As we read the words of David in Psalm 38, we find him at a point of life when he was downcast and discouraged, and his struggle had drained him of all strength. But all hope is not lost as we see Him look to the Lord for help and deliverance.
Much of the Psalm has his agitated cry: “I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart” (Psalm 38:6, 8) From the life of David, we know he was one who hungered for the Lord, pouring out his heart daily in prayer, he revered God’s word, writing psalms that praised his glory. But now, in his depressed state, it was like saying: “Lord, I am at the end of my rope and I have no idea why it’s happening!” It was a point of time he felt rejected, mocked at by his enemies and anguished in heart.
Like many discouraged Christians today, David tried to figure out why he felt so empty and broken in spirit. He probably thought over every failure, sin and foolish deed in his life. This heavy spirit of discouragement laid David so low, he was so burdened in God’s presence. But even at his lowest point, David wouldn’t allow himself to stumble in unbelief. He cried, “For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.” (Psalm 38:15).
When we are enduring an attack from a spirit of discouragement, let’s not try to escape the discouragement in our own strength and understanding. Such battles are far beyond our human skill or physical power to wage. Leave the battle for the Lord! In the midst of his discouragement, David set down all his desires before the Lord knowing that his sighing was not hidden from the Lord (v.9). The Lord is the greatest Physician who understands the symptoms of our disease and sees deeply within the hidden evil they reveal, and so can treat us best. When you are under attack of discouragement go to the secret place and be in God’s presence in prayer. Be honest with Him— tell him how weak and helpless you feel. Depend on the Holy Spirit to help you. “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” (Romans 8:26 NLT)
Hope is a divinely-given grace that help us look heavenward for help. Like the wings of a bird that puts forth efforts to fly, hope continually helps put our trust in God who can save!
Hope inspires us to act as if we in reality could see and hear God speaking to us. When we read in the Gospel that God forgives sin, hope inspires us to believe that our Father has really forgiven us. 1 John 1: 9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God has given us the faculty of hope in order that it may prompt us to great actions. The hope in his father's love prompted the prodigal to return to him: “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you…” (Luke 15:18)—it lifted him from hell to heaven.
The man who will live a true Christian life does suffer; but there is a good in it that God intends. Let hope in God's Word encourage you to believe that you can do great and good actions.
Think on it: We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. (Rom.5: 3-4 TLB)