Word By Mail

Journal - Hope 01 - wk 10

Hope 01
Psalm 42:1-5

Week 10

Hi everyone, it's Pastor Dave here with another daily devotion for you. If you have our Alone With God journal, open it to one of your "Daily Journal" pages for the week, and then grab your Bible and open it to Psalm 42. You may want to hit pause until you can have your Bible open in front of you and your devotion journal.

Today's devotion is from our Scripture-by-Topic list titled hope, and this is devotion number one in that Hope Scripture-by-Topic list.

Psalm 42:1, the Psalmist begins in verse 1 by saying As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, oh God.

And then, in verse two, he says I thirst for God the living God. Where can I go and stand before him? That is the emotional or spiritual state of the Psalmist in this Psalm.

And then, in verse five starts our focus for today – Psalm 42:5 says, Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my savior and my God!

If you're reading the NLT, notice the question marks and the exclamation points. First, the question marks. Why am I so discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? And then notice the exclamation points. I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my savior and my God!

This Psalmist is talking to himself. Why am I so discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? - And then he makes a forceful choice of his will. I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again!

Guys, when we feel discouraged, when our heart is in turmoil, God's character has not changed, God has not changed. We may or may not understand why we feel discouraged or why our soul feels in turmoil, as the ESV says here.

We may or may not understand it, but we DO have a choice, and we have got to USE it. God has not changed. The power of the Holy Spirit within us has not changed, but we must make the unwavering commitment to put our hope in God. We must make the choice that we will praise him again. And even as verse 6 says, no matter how deeply discouraged we feel, we will remember God, no matter how distant we feel. We will put our hope in God, and we will make the commitment, by faith, to praise him again because he is our Savior and our God.

Now, your turn to meditate on these verses. Read through them slowly, with the circumstance or situation the Holy Spirit is bringing up in your heart, and in the MEDITATE section of your journal, just write what these verses are saying. Don't apply them yet. Don't respond to them yet. Just as an act of meditation, write slowly and deliberately what these verses are saying. Pause this guide and do that, and then come back.

Okay, now that you've listened and written what these verses are saying, now in your APPLY section, write how these verses apply to the circumstances or situation that the Holy Spirit has put in your heart. In what circumstance in your life are you longing for God, thirsting to know his presence, to stand in his presence? And how does verse 5 apply to that area or circumstance in your life? What was the Holy Spirit bringing up in your heart about that specific area of your life as you meditated on these verses? Pause this guide and write in your APPLY section how do these verses apply to your life today, then come back.

Okay, and now, what will you do about it? In your RESPONSE section, write what action will you take today in response to this truth. Will you acknowledge that you are discouraged, that your soul is in turmoil? And will you choose with everything in you, no matter what it takes, will you CHOOSE to put your true tangible hope in God and to genuinely begin to praise him again? Okay, you pause again and write how will you respond to these verses for your life today, and then come back.

And finally, let's pray. I'll pray for us, and then I'll stop this guide, and you, please, take one more minute to WRITE your prayer to God in the PRAY section. Writing out your prayer to God is really good for you.

So, let's pray, then you can do that.

Heavenly Father, please reveal to us, help us to acknowledge that we long for your presence, that we thirst to stand in your presence. Help us acknowledge when we are discouraged, when our soul is in turmoil. And help us, Lord, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to make an unshakeable commitment to put our hope in you, in you alone. And please give us the strength to say we absolutely will praise you as our Savior and our God. Thank you, Lord, for always being with us and carrying us through every day. In your mighty name, Jesus, amen.