The Lord showed me Psalm 42 today and gave me a word for someone who has been struggling to find God in this season.
Here is what Psalm 42 says:
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with my God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon- from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
By the day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day, “Where is your God?”
Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
For the person who is battling depression, loneliness, separation and maybe even isolation, this psalm is for you. You might be living life with a mask- the you that you let the world see, and the secret you who battles the same thoughts and feelings as the psalmist wrote. This psalm was written by one of the sons of Korah who was a temple musician. What this tells me is that, even someone who was appointed by God to lead others in praise can keep struggles buried deep inside of them that perhaps no one will ever know or see. But let’s remember that the struggles are there whether you choose to let others see them or not. God sees them. And He sees YOU.
This person might call themself a christian but their life and possibly even their secret life testifies against them. They’re doing things that they know do not please God in an effort to soothe themselves, but I’m here to tell you that secret sins are not a security blanket for the believer or anyone else for that matter. They wind up causing guilt, self-condemnation, and even shame. The psalmist, even cries out to God, asking, “Where are you?” “Why have you forgotten me??” “Why must I go on feeling this way, suffering?” It sounds as though the psalmist is even dealing with physical pain in his body, and whether it’s actual people taunting him by saying God isn’t real, or the enemy screaming, “Where is your God?” the clamoring is almost too much for his mind and spirit to take.
The psalmist goes on to do what David did- he spoke to himself in TRUTH declaring in spite of what he was feeling, in spite of his physical pain, in spite of the mocking by the devil and others: “Put your hope in GOD, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” He says my soul is downcast, therefore I choose to remember you from the land of the Jordan- from a place where you parted the waters for our people. A place where we stepped into our promised land. A place where you commanded us to set up memorial stones so that we would never forget the great things you did for us in Egypt. In the wilderness of our lives. I choose to remember the good things you’ve done for me and believe that you’re the same God- you’ve still got good things for me!
The deep things, the deep love of God is calling out to the deep things in you. The person He knows you can become- who he created you to be that the devil or maybe even you have tried to bury. He’s calling to the deep hurts in you- some of those hurts have been caused by others while you have also afflicted yourself with many of the wounds you carry. You might be in a place now where you feel forgotten by God, but the psalmist says, “By the day the Lord directs his love, at night (the literal night but also the dark times in our lives) his song is with me- in other words, I pray to him, I cry out to him, I cast my deep hurts, pains, and pleading prayers out to him in prayer. He hears you. He’s listening. He’s waiting for you to drop what you’ve been gripping onto and come to him whole heartedly so he can heal you.
The Lord gave me this word this morning to share:
“Stop drinking from the wrong wells. You’ve tried porn. You’ve tried relationships. You’ve tried filling yourself at the work well. At the wells of owning things you thought would make you happy and satisfied. Are you satisfied?
No- you are still thirsty. Your soul pants for water that it knows not of- and everything else has left you dissatisfied. You can consume and consume, but I tell you it will NEVER be satisfying. Your thirst only gets greater. The holes, the gaps only get wider. How much longer will you resist coming to me to quench your thirst? My water satisfies. My well never runs out. It bubbles up and becomes springs of living water inside of you. You will find rest, peace, joy at my well. I bid you to come!
This water does not sour after you drink it. It does not cause shame, guilt, or bitterness. It’s a water you can swim in, you can float in. My water washes the stains of bitterness, rejection, and condemnation off of you.
Come in and believe. Be immersed. Be changed. Leave the bad things and be revived,” says the Lord.
Sometimes words like these can make us feel uncomfortable because we are seen. There may be aspects of this word that resonate with you more than others. The point being is that God is saying it’s time to come back to him. Be revived. He calls out the things that he can see because he wants you to know he sees everything you think, feel, and do, and he still LOVES YOU.
Speaking from personal experience, acting your way into a feeling is a lot harder than feeling your way into acting. You have to go to God in faith when you don’t feel him. There are things that die on the inside of us that keep us from feeling. As you go to God’s well for cleansing, healing and renewal, your physical and spiritual senses will be revived. Your hunger for the word of God and the presence of God will be renewed, and you WILL yet praise him again. I’m praying for you, and believing for you.