Read Psalm 43
1 Vindicate me, my God,
and plead my cause
against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
deceitful and wicked.
2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
3 Send me your light and your faithful care,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
In many of the psalms we have read so far, we see the author pouring out his heart to God, asking why the world is the way it is⏤looking for an answer, for hope in the darkness. Psalm 43 is no exception, and it is a perfect example of what to do when we feel oppressed and discouraged.
In this short psalm, there are four questions the Sons of Korah (the authors) ask. Reread these questions in verses 2 and 5. Sometimes Scripture asks questions that are responses to an author’s circumstances, and they are there to serve a point. These questions show us that when we are wronged, discouraged, or confused, we can express ourselves honestly to God. Christianity is not a faith where we are required to bottle up our hurt and confusion. It’s a faith where we can bring our emotions to the light.
In addition to questions and cries of lament to God, there is another response. In verses 3 and 5, the author asks for God’s light and truth (found in His Word), a path to the Holy Mountain (referring to Mount Zion in Jerusalem, where people went to collectively praise God), and a declaration that he will praise God with his harp (worshiping through song). These desires for praise aren’t there because everything was going great for the psalmist. They aren’t there because the psalmist felt close to God. As we saw earlier, the author actually felt far from God. But the psalmist knows when we are troubled or things aren’t going well, God is our “only safe haven” (v. 2). So when we feel like we are far from God, the best thing to do is express that to God and sing His praise, just like the psalmist did here.
- This psalm ends with the same verse as Psalm 42. Is there anything you are discouraged by right now?
- Verse 2 says that God is our only safe haven. When is a time that you tried to find safety in something else?
- The author of this psalm says that he will praise God with his harp. What is your favorite way to praise God and worship Him? Go do it. Right now.
If you feel lost and discouraged, pray this: “God, I feel confused and overwhelmed with my circumstances right now. I don’t know how You are trying to work in my life, but I know that You are my only safe haven. Help me to turn toward You and sprint to You instead of turning away. Amen.”