Verse of the Day and Devotional 4-18-2024

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Verse of the Day

by Bible League International,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence – Andrew,

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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. – Psalm 42:5 ESV


Psalm 42 begins the second book of Psalms, mostly attributed to David or worship leaders who would have written considering David’s circumstances or his instruction. This book of 30 psalms begins to describe a depressive demeanor that overcame the king from both a circumstantial and spiritual perspective. David knows Who it is that can bring healing and resolve to his mental anguish, but he struggles between the tension of wrestling with his problems mentally and emotionally, and fully casting his care and hope upon God.

Sound familiar? What do we do internally when we think the living God hasn’t shown up amid our problems (v. 2)? Even when we read the Word, we have this feeling that God is so far away we wonder if we can ever ‘appear before’ Him (v. 2). Do we struggle with a feeling of abandonment, wondering where God is when our ‘tears have been [our] food day and night,’ and have so blurred our spiritual vision (v. 3)? We’d like to walk with those who seemingly are experiencing spiritual victory. We remember those times, but it isn’t happening now (v. 4).

The psalm is a collective of both the introspective question: ‘Why are you cast down?’ And the inevitable answer: ‘hope in God.’ Indeed, it is in that kind of reasoning that we begin to find our answer, that which leads us out of our sadness and into His joy!

In the remaining verses of the psalm, David remembers the historical faithfulness of God (v. 6), the power of God (v. 7), and the immutable character of God: His ‘steadfast love,’ His ‘rock-like’ dependability (v. 9) and His ultimate ‘deliverance’ (v. 11) within Whom he can give praise. The act of hoping (the word yachal, which means literal waiting) while remembering who God is is what begins to show us the pathway of restoration.

In other psalms within book two, David describes his depression, anger, and frustration from a variety of different angles, but he inevitably comes back to the immutable character of God. When he begins book three, he has his worship leader, Asaph, begin with the words, ‘Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart’ (Psalm 73:1 ESV). If you are dealing with spiritual depression, take some time for self-examination (and indeed, seek the help of those who are trained to help you), but do all of this in light of the changeless character of God who loves you with an everlasting love.

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