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Out from the Depths

The next time you feel like quitting, read these chapters. The psalmist presents contrasts that depict the ups and downs of life. First, he contrasts the desert and the temple (42:1-4). He is thirsting for God. In fact, he is so thirsty he is using his tears as food. We, too, have spiritual senses: taste, hearing and sight. When your soul is thirsting for the living God, you won't be satisfied with substitutes. Don't feed on your feelings, because you will poison yourself.

The psalmist then reminisces about the temple. There's nothing wrong with memories as long as you don't live in the past. They can either encourage or discourage. Let them be a rudder to guide you and not an anchor to hold you back. We find the answer to the psalmist's grief in 42:5. So often we mourn because we want to, but this verse tells us to hope in God.

Second, he contrasts the heights and the depths (42:6,7). The psalmist goes through a range of emotions--from the mountaintop to the valley. And then the waves roll over him. Have you ever felt as if you were drowning? Jesus went through a similar experience (Matt. 20:22). When you pray, be honest with God and tell Him how you really feel. Remember that Jesus knows exactly how you feel, and He understands every experience of life.

Third, the psalmist contrasts day and night (42:8). This is the central verse of Psalms 42 and 43. Sometimes we're in the darkness because of sin, but this psalmist is in darkness because he's going through a difficult time. We all have those times. God commands the daytime and nighttime (Job 35:10) and gives songs in the night (Acts 16:25). Remember to look not at yourself but to God. Hope in Him, and He will help you.

The contrasts of this passage show that life has its range of experiences. You can expect to have dark days and, at times, to find yourself in the depths. Be encouraged that Jesus understands how you feel. Are you going through a dark time? Remember God's help in the past. He will be just as faithful in helping you now. Tune your spiritual senses to Him and hope in Him.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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