Summary: Psalm 42 & 43
Hoping to help his church save some money…Pastor Jones decided to paint the church exterior himself. The funds were low and all he had on hand was one bucket of paint. So…he collected as many empty buckets as he could find and gathered them close to the water spicket on the side of the church building. Then he began to thin the paint enough so that he’d be able to cover the entire building using the paint he had available. Then…he spend the whole day painting.
That night it rained and washed off all the paint. Well…understandably so…the pastor was incredibly discouraged. He asked God, “Why…why Lord…did you let it rain and wash away all my hard work?” To which God replied, “Repaint and thin no more!”
Life…as wonderful as it is…can sure have it’s times / seasons of discouragement. Circumstances can come our way that can threaten to steal our joy.
The truth is…discouragement is very real.
You may be here today and feel as though you’ve lost your joy…or maybe you’re not as joyful as you once were. Well…I’ve come to declare Good News today! God desires for you to be joyful! You may be here and feel as though you’re “hanging on by a thread”…God has hope for you today!
You may have lost your joy…but the Good News is: Joy is something God can restore in your life! And it’s the joy of the Lord that is your strength!
So…How do we climb out of despair / discouragement / heaviness and climb into Hope and Joy!
That’s the fight the Psalmist is experiencing in Psalm 42,43.
These two Psalms go together. (Actually 1 Psalm)
Written by The Sons of Korah.
Korah was a Levite who led a rebellion against Moses.
Awesome to see God chosing to use the descendants of someone who Himself hadn’t been faithful to God.
Ought to remind every one of us that regardless of the home you come from…God can and will use you!
Probably written on behalf of David when he was in hiding…being hunted by his own son, Absalom.
One of the great things about these two Psalms is that it shows us that you can have hope without having everything figured out.
So…let’s walk through these chapters and then…I want to give you a Fight Plan for Discouragement.
Verse one is one of those verses we have kinda turned into a nice painting. There’s this beautiful deer in this beautiful valley…drinking from a beautiful stream. There’s butterflys everywhere…happy little trees…a beautiful blue sky with perfect white clouds.
Here’s the problem…that’s not the picture this verse is painting.
A deer panting for water isn’t a pretty site.
Instead…picture this exhausted…thin…weary deer…staggering in desperation…about to die…trying to find something somewhere to drink.
Thirst ain’t pretty!
When you’re thirsty…you get dehydrated. You lose energy. You start to hallucinate. And if you don’t eventually get something to drink…you die.
Probably for all of us at some point…and perhaps for some of us here at this very moment…these words accurately describe how we’ve felt or are currently feeling.
The Psalmist isn’t just having a bad day.
He’s expressing a heaviness…a level of discouragment that consumes him.
It’s the type of discouragement where you cry until you run out of tears.
You pray to the point…you no longer no anything else to pray.
He’s at a point where life’s circumstances make it seem as though God is no where to be found.
The situation he is facing is mocking his faith.
His heart is breaking. Why?
Because of how drastically life has taken a nosedive.
He’s thinking about “how it used to be.”
He’s wishing things were “as they used to be.”
He’s hiding out in a cave and he’s wishing he were in church…with the people of God…in the presence of God.
Now seriously…think about this for a moment. Out of all the places he could hope to be instead of the discouraging place he finds himself currently…he choses church. Why? Because that’s where his soul was refeshed and encouraged!
David thirsted…he longed for…he craved…worship with God’s people. Because it’s among God’s people that God has always chosen to dwell and reveal Himself. Let me caution you…not just as someone who is a part of Celebrate Church…but as a Christian: If you are only here twice a month…you’re starving your soul.
I read a quote this week: “The more you miss church…the less you miss church.”
Most of you know I’m very passionate about faithfulness to the house of God. I’ve always cared about this because I know it to be true: A casual heart towards worship and the house of God almost always reveals a casual heart towards God Himself. I love the church! I love you. It breaks my heart to watch families miss out on experiencing the blessings and joy God has for them. Fight to be here every week. Come ready to worship. Come ready to pour yourself out. Come craving to hear and receive what God has for you. Don’t just watch. Worship…enter in…take notes…chew on God’s Word that’s declared.