Do You Feel Like God Has Failed You?
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
“Due to the current financial constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice!” so reads a notice on a local notice board. How’s that for contending for a gold medal in pessimism? Nobody can take away the power of hope unless you let him. Hope is as essential to life as oxygen is to your human body.
“The grand essentials of happiness,” wrote Allan Chalmers, “are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
For seven long years, David, the young man who had been anointed to be king of Israel, had to flee for his very life. Saul, struggling with bitterness and tremendous insecurity, didn’t intend to relinquish his throne to this young upstart who had won the hearts of the people when Goliath fell to his sling and sword. Saul hunted David as police would hunt a criminal. While David was in hiding, he wrote a number of the great Psalms which have encouraged our hearts down through the years. I’m thinking of two Psalms which go together–Psalm 42 and 43, and both end with a powerful question and the assurance of hope. He cried, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11).
Do you ever ask yourself, “Why am I so down?” Is the answer because God has failed you? Has He gone home, and turned off voice mail for a little uncluttered time? No–of course not. Is it because He is powerless to change the circumstances which greatly trouble you? In effect, worry says, “God, my problem is bigger than You are. I’m not sure that You can handle this for me, so I guess I’m on my own to figure this thing out.”
Can anybody turn out the light at the end of the tunnel? No–but somebody or something can surely stand between you and the light, blocking its radiance. And if it has happened to you, there’s only one thing to do: move! Get rid of that person or get out of that situation. Go left or right. Tunnel under. Push your way past, but get focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.
The first step is making the decision to get on with life and do something about your gloom. I don’t know who wrote the following which someone gave to me, but I do know I like what the author wrote. It’s entitled, “Today,” and it goes:
“And only I can determine/ What kind of day it will be./ It can be busy and sunny, laughing/ and gay; or boring and cold, unhappy and gray./ My own state of mind is the determining key,/ For I am only the person I let myself be./ I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,/ Or be selfish and think just of myself./ I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun;/ Or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone./ I can be patient with those who may not understand/ Or belittle and hurt them as much as I can./ But, I have faith in myself and/ believe what I say/ And I personally intend to make/ THE BEST OF TODAY.”
David’s response was the determination to yet praise Him whom he called “my Savior and my God.” God didn’t leave David in his cave of depression and gloom. He eventually led him back home and to the throne.
I’m convinced that only we ourselves can allow clouds to obscure the light at the end of the tunnel. Praising God for what He is and what He has done, allows us to realize He is the light at the end of the tunnel and nothing can obscure that when we stay focused on Him.
Resource reading: Psalm 42