Why Are You In Despair?

“… they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?‘” Psalm xlii, 10.

Who can describe the agony of a godly Christian who has to deal with defeat and despair after having testified to the greatness of His God to his friends? The very ones who heard him describe the praises of his God will question him: “Now, where is your God? If your God can’t help you, how do you think he’s going to be of any help to us?” Listening to such barbed words is as painful and traumatic as the shattering of one’s bones (v. 10).

A Christian’s faith might get shaken by such humiliation. It might affect his relationship with God. Despair and darkness might overwhelm him. He could withdraw from fellowship with other Christians. Isolated from everyone, he might then say, like the Psalmist, that he “used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with the voice of joy and thanksgiving” (v. 4).  Such joyful times of fellowship and worship become a thing of the past. It would seem that there’s no end to his pain and tears.

What’s the way out? If you can identify with the psalmist’s pain, you need to turn to God in prayer. Tell Him how you feel. Be honest. “O my God, my soul is in despair within me” (v. 6). “I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (v. 9).

Second, when you turn to God, you will realize that He hasn’t changed a bit. He is still your “Rock” (v. 9). Your desire for God will increase and you’ll say with the psalmist, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” Yes, it’s time to end your isolation from God and His people!

Finally, this revelation of God and fellowship with Him will give you hope. Instead of waiting for someone else’s encouragement, you’ll begin to tell yourself: “Cheer up!” That’s what the psalmist said to himself: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God for I will yet praise Him.” The psalmist then tries to visualize how God will vindicate him and how that will propel him to the sacred assembly where he’ll once again be able to praise and glorify.

God will not abandon his faithful servants. He uses temporary setbacks and failures to cleanse us and to strength our faith in His goodness. Don’t let setbacks or insults injure you. If you’ve stood for God, it’s God’s business to vindicate your testimony about Him. The wicked will not be found after a “storm” but God will cause you to survive and succeed.