Lessons from the Heart
In Psalm 43:5 we read: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising Him, my Savior and my God.” (NCV)
I really like this verse because it reminds me that none of us are exempt from experiencing times of great difficulty in life and that those times of difficulty often produce within us feelings of sadness and even despair. But just knowing that others have gone through difficult times in their lives and equally deal with bouts of sadness to the point of feeling some level of hopelessness is not why this verse is extra special to me. It’s special because the writer of this psalm, after stating that he is sad and upset, goes on to literally tell himself to “put his hope in God and to keep praising the One that is both his God and Savior.” What a wonderful turnaround moment this line must have been for this psalmist!
I don’t know about you, but I really need to be reminded of the very thing this psalmist was reminded of when he wrote this psalm. When we are down and overwhelmed by all of life’s problems, difficulties and worries we need to put our hope in God, who is both God and Savior.
Throughout time, there have been many who have been given the designation or recognition for being a “savior.” Some of those “saviors” were self-proclaimed, as they sought special recognition. But many of them were given that honorary distinction because they brought much needed help just at the right time to a specific person or group. And we are all thankful for the many heroes, both past and present, who have sacrificed much to bring lifesaving help to those in trouble. But of all the wonderful things humans have done to help other humans, the help that they brought was limited as well as their ability to sustain that help over an extended length of time. After all, they were just human.
But this article, like the Psalm 43 verse 5, is not about the kind of hope that can come from mere humans helping other humans. But rather, it is about the greater hope that springs up from within our souls as we look to God, who is not limited in power or resources and who also greatly desires to help us all in our times of trouble. And that is why we can have hope, lasting hope. No matter what we face today or what we will face tomorrow, the One who is God is also a Savior.
Dave Osborne is pastor of the Burlington Church of Christ.