Summary: The life of a Christian just like the life of a non-Christian. The difference is that those who put their faith and hope in God have a Savior to lean upon, to guide them and comfort them as they walk through such events.
Hope amid life’s struggles
As we have watched this summer pass we have seen many difficult events break out across the world. Some were natural disasters while others were of cruel injustice and war perpetrated by our fellow human beings. Against all this we had the backdrop of the Summer Olympic Games and for a short time it gave the world hope.
But the games came and went and we found ourselves having to deal with still more death, disaster and grief. How are we to cope in such a world?
As Pastor Randy Frazee says…
“We simply cannot live without hope.
Christian hope is an anchor for our souls. It stabilizes us during difficult seasons because we know this is not how our story ends. It is rooted in our belief and trust in a personal God, His salvation and eternity. If we believe these truths in our hearts, then it will produce a hope that doesn’t disappoint.” Source: “Believe” pg. 402 Randy Frazee 2015 Zondervan.
For us that hope is echoed in the pages of scripture and rests in a Savior.
Hebrews 6:19-20 reminds us;
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Have you ever felt despair as you faced life’s struggles?
Well you’d be in good company Biblically speaking. Nearly all the Biblical figures you and I know had to deal with finding hope amid life’s struggles.
Job was just such a person as he lost everything in one day, his farm, his family and his future. Even his health came under attack.
Job came to realize that only by turning to God could he make sense of his life and the calamities that he was suffering. After much soul searching Job found peace with God and discovered that his hope rested in the love and restoring power of God’s grace. God restored Job in a miraculous way and renewed his hope and faith. Read the book of Job and you will discover renewed hope through his trials.
Job was just a simple farmer but even Kings have wrestled with despair and hopelessness. Yes from the lowly to the mighty this has been a timeless battle for every human being.
King David who started out as a shepherd boy would grow to be the king of the nation of Israel. "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown", Source: Shakespeare’s play Henry IV part 2 are true words for any monarch trying to navigate the affairs of a nation.
Psalm 42 is thought to have been written by King David but it is ascribed to the “Sons of Korah”. These were men who were gifted in worship and it is thought that they may have served King David as a kind of “Praise Team” of that time. It may have been their responsibility to write the music and or lead the choir or congregation in the singing of Psalms such as this.
This particular Psalm or song is thought to have been written by David during a tumultuous time in the Kingdom. Source: Life Application Study Bible pg.1139 Tyndale House Publishing Wheaton Illinois Zondervan 1988
One of David’s sons Absalom had made a bid for the throne while David was still sitting on it and this open rebellion caused David to vacate the palace and Jerusalem itself. That meant that David also had to leave the “Tabernacle of God” where the Ark of the Covenant was established in the Holy of Holies behind the curtain in the tent of meeting.
Hebrews 6:19-20 which I mentioned in my opening is a picture of this kind of worship.
This family fight drove David away from the palace and away from the sanctuary of God. David found his hope in the Lord shaken and threatened by the actions of his own son.
There are a lot of things that can keep people away from church nowadays as well. Some folks may even blame their children as a reason for staying away from church today. It may be that they want to spend quality time with them or that they want their kids to make their own decisions about faith and God.
People use all kinds of excuses to justify their broken relationships with God but in David’s case it was not his choice it was a matter of life and death.
It may have been that realization that caused Psalm 42 to be written with such vivid imagery. It leaps off the page much like the 23rd Psalm does.
In verse 1 of Psalm 42 David likens himself to a deer panting in the forest. A deer only gets to panting if it has been running hard trying to avoid a predator. Such were the real circumstances for David.