Our Daily Bread
- READ: Psalm 42:1-11
Why are you cast down, O my soul? . . . Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. —Psalm 42:5�
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota found that almost 15 percent of American teenagers felt it was “highly likely” that they would die before their 35th birthday. Those with this pessimistic outlook were more likely to engage in reckless behavior. Dr. Iris Borowsky, author of the study published in Pediatrics magazine, said: “These youth may take risks because they feel hopeless and figure that not much is at stake.
No one is immune to feelings of despair. The Psalms express repeated pleas for help when life seems dark. “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence” (Ps. 42:5 NASB). In a defiant step of faith, the psalmist tells himself not to forget about God, who will never forsake him.
Curtis Almquist has written: “Hope is fueled by the presence of God. . . . [It] is also fueled by the future of God in our lives.” We can say with the psalmist, “I shall yet praise Him” (v.5).
No follower of Christ should feel reluctant to seek counsel for depression. Nor should we feel that faith and prayer are too simplistic to help. There is always hope in God! —David McCasland
My sheep I know, they are My own,
I leave them not in trials alone;
I will be with them to the end,
Their Hope, their Joy, their dearest Friend. —Anon.
Hope for the Christian is a certainty— because its basis is Christ.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.