Trust Trumps Turmoil

| Wed, Jul 17, 2013 | Set 3 Week 29

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Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.—Psalm 42:11

There are two kinds of hope: uncertain hope and certain hope. Christian hope is certain.

Hoping for a pay raise, or hoping for the Twins to win it all (!), or hoping for a close relationship with that special someone are all uncertain hopes. They might happen—we really want them to happen—but they might not.

Biblical hope is quite different. It is a certainty. A reality. Or, as Paul says, an eager expectation: “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body” (Philippians 1:20). Paul can use “eager expectation” and “hope” interchangeably.

While hope is pitted against sight (Romans 8:24), it is not pitted against certainty. Christians enjoy “eager expectation and hope” just as our faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We fully love and delight in Him whom we have never seen with our physical eyes (1 Peter 1:8).

That brings us to the most important part of this passage: the Object of our hope. We know that the sons of Korah had the same kind of hope in Psalm 42:11 that Paul had in Philippians 1:20 because after they exclaim, “Hope in God!” they are confident that they “shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Though they were in turmoil, they knew they would praise God again. O, for such trust!

We do not know what all their troubles were, but we do know that they had turmoil in their souls. We know that they were persistently taunted by their enemies (see verses 3, 9–10). So, we know that they longed for peace. They wanted security, and they sought after encouragement.

But, most importantly, they realized that God was the only One who could give them the peace, security, and encouragement they desired. He was the great Object of their longings. So, they preached to their own souls, “Hope in God!”

Reflection questions:

  1. What is tempting you to doubt God’s power and promises today?
  2. How can you make it a habit to preach to your own soul as the psalmists do? Set repeating reminders on your phone? Wear a bracelet? Share your struggles with a close friend?

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