Gloom & Despair: Biblical Rx

by | May 8, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Psalm 43

Gloom & Despair: Biblical Rx

Connecting Psalm 43 and Hee Haw may come as a surprise. But it’s beneficial because I think it will help you remember some very important, helpful things! Why did we laugh at this line that was sung every week on Hee Haw:

Gloom, despair, and agony on me. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all! 

We can all identify with it. We’ve all felt that way. And now that we’ve been honest about that, I can tell you that a little out-of-the-way Psalm is packed with helpful instruction for the times we are dealing with gloom and despair.

Psalm 43: Life Isn’t Fair

What did the Burnett kids hear when they said something wasn’t fair?

Life’s not fair. Get over it and keep going!

And it seems we are overrun with a generation that didn’t hear that advice. Think about it. But the Psalmist was struggling with the same situation. He faced unfair and unjust circumstances. Notice:

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have You rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise You with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.Psalm 43

Psalm 43: Danger In A Divided Life

Psalm 43Verse one opens the prayer: Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! This is the circumstance of the writer’s life. And everyone who has ever lived has been maligned and falsely accused. That is the condition of the physical world in which we live. But the writer knows not to take matters into his own hands. Vengeance belongs to God and God alone. So the writer’s cry to the Lord is the correct response for him. It’s also instructive to us.
And the next part of the prayer underscores the necessity of putting our concerns before the Father. He speaks of people who are unjust deceivers. The two go together. Why? Unjust people are often skilled deceivers. They use deceit to hide their unjust ways. We cannot always see through the deceit of such people. But God sees it and He can deal with it. Take a note from the Psalmist and put such people in God’s hands.
psalm 43Verse two shows us the writer’s inner turmoil: For You are the God in whom I take refuge; why have You rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? We get a good glimpse at the inner conflict these circumstances can create.
This Psalm confirms the divided circumstance of our lives. We see that division in the Psalmist. And we will see it again later in the Psalm. But here we see the division between what we know to be true and the feelings/emotions of difficult situations. This is why the prayer of another Psalmist said:

Unite my heart to fear Your name.

And this is the same issue James warned against. He wrote:

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

What we read as double minded can rightly be thought of as divided.
The writer of Psalm 43 acknowledges, You are the God in Whom I take refuge. But in verse 2 he asks, Why have You rejected me? Then he immediately follows up with a rhetorical question: Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Psalm 43: I Live Here

So it seems that part of his heart was taking refuge in God. He has not let go of God, but he has succumbed to his difficult situation. The proof is in his question: Why have you rejected me? This tells us how he felt. So a modern rephrasing might sound like this:

How can You let evil, ungodly enemies get the upper hand? I have always trusted in You. I am trusting You now. But You are letting a bad situation get worse! The injustice of it all is the cause of my mourning!

We can shorten this even more! How many times has the Why? question overwhelmed us? Modern believers experience a divided heart. It would be better if we didn’t. Some might say we should never let ourselves be like this psalmist. But our Father knows our weaknesses. Psalm 103 tells us He remembers our frames, that He made us of dirt. So honesty demands we recognize that we each come to this place from time to time. God already knows and He is aware of His own goodness and willingness to lead us out of these times. So Psalm 43 is preserved for us to have an example to follow! Weak sheep need examples.
With that in mind, we should take note of Mark 9:24, I believe, help my unbelief. And we see the same kind of struggle in the life of the Apostle Paul. He wrote in Romans 7:19, For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. All of us can identify with these verses.
So I challenge you to spend a little time with this Psalm. In fact, Psalm 42 covers the same issue ir ao site. We’ll explore more in the next post!

Soli Deo Gloria!



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