Together in Christ: 'Where Do I Place My Hope?' — Psalm 42:4-6

Saturday, July 6, 2024

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My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!

— Psalm 42:4-6 NLT

Key Thought

One of the great lessons we learn from the Old Testament is that there is only one place we can put our hope and not be abandoned: in the Lord, YHWH, the covenant God of Israel, Whom we know as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Alliances with other nations for safety repeatedly fall through. Wealth and property can vanish with the changes in fortune in the markets, world economy, and harvests. Our physical health and aging bring unpredictable infirmities and unfortunate changes in the quality of our lives. Even friends and family can abandon us and betray us. We see these truths amply illustrated in Joseph's story and Jesus' life. [1]

So, where do we turn when life takes an unfortunate turn and our health, friends, fortunes, and emotions fail us? We turn to God, our unfailing and ever-faithful Father, [2] Jesus, our eternal friend, [3] and the Holy Spirit, Who is always present within us to refresh us [4] and gives us instant access to the throne room of heaven. [5]

When all things in life seem to go against us and all the people we trust abandon us or feel unavailable to us, we still have reasons to rejoice:

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!

Hardship can last for a time — even for what seems to be a long season — but it will soon be swallowed up by what is life indeed, [6] when we enjoy the presence of the Lord, and His salvation, our joyous eternal fellowship, forever! [7]

[1] Joseph's story is in chapters 37, 39-50 of Genesis, and Jesus' life story is in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).
[2] Romans 8:13-39.
[3] John 15:12-17.
[4] John 7:37-39.
[5] Romans 8:13-27.
[6] 2 Corinthians 5:1-5.
[7] Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Today's Prayer

Father, my heart is full of confidence because I know that You are with me no matter what happens in my life or in the world where I live. My future is in Your hands. The conditions in my life here on earth — good or bad — are short. I look forward to this life being swallowed up into Your presence and life with You forever. [A] Because of my joyous assurance in my eternal relationship with You, I refuse to let my circumstances dictate my attitude. I trust my future to You. I trust that You hold my life's value, purpose, and enduring quality in Your hands. I believe my life is joined with Christ and that Your glory awaits me! [B[ In Jesus' name, I praise and thank You. Amen.

[A] 2 Corinthians 3:2-8; Philippians 1:18-26, 4:3-8; Romans 2:7.
[B] Colossians 3:1-4.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 42:1-11, 139:1-18
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Romans 13:11-14

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Illustration

Illustration of Psalm 42:4-6 NLT — My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.