Finding Confident Hope (Psalm 42:5)
Psalm 42:5, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
It has been said that man can live forty days without food, three days without water, and eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope. A scientific experiment by Duke University proved this to be true. A group of behavioral scientists put some rats in a tank of water and observed them to see how long they would survive before drowning. The average time was 17 minutes. The scientists repeated the experiment; but this time they rescued the rats just before the point of drowning, dried them off, and returned them to their cages. Then they fed the creatures, let them play for a few days, and repeated the drowning experiment. This time, the average survival time for these rats increased from 17 minutes to 36 hours. The scientists explained this by saying the second time around, the rats had hope. They believed that they could survive this hardship because they had done so before.
It is very difficult to remain hopeful when you are depressed and everything you do seems doomed to fail. You can, however, overcome this situation with the Word of God.
1. Believe that God is greater than your circumstances and any problems that are weighing you down. Accept the victory in His holy name (Romans 8:37). Our hope is not in favorable circumstances, but in the God who brings these circumstances together. This hope gives us confidence that regardless of what challenges the next moment holds in store, we can survive because God has come through before.
2. Lay your concerns before the Father in earnest and specific prayer. Pour out all of your problems before Him. You will be amazed at the results (Psalm 55:22). Whenever you hear about God answering someone’s prayer, whenever you see Him provide for their needs and satisfy their desires, it should give you hope that He will do the same in your life.
3. Believe steadfastly that God can and will achieve something glorious through this dark period in your life (Romans 8:28). Many people go through life without hope. Their hopelessness is seen in their negative outlook. Others have grown impatient and given up hope. They don’t believe they will ever see God come through for them. Then there are those who are full of hope. They see every blessing in their lives and in the lives of others as reason for hope in God. These people are confident that they will make it through their hardships because they’ve seen God do it before. Which person do you want to be? Make a conscience effort to turn your eyes away from yourself to see the world in need. God has a purpose for all things. God is still on the throne and He is still in control.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your patience with me. I so easily close my ears to Your voice and listen to the voice of my circumstances, others who are not your children, and the voice of the Accuser. When I do this, I put my soul in turmoil. From the moment I wake to the moment I lay my head down to rest, may I place all of my hope in You alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.