Psalms 42:5 NIV 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.
Whenever we are troubled our first instinct is to look externally to every person, detail, condition, and/or circumstance around us. But, is the trouble in our soul really due to something outside of us, or inside of us? The psalmist got it right when he asks the questions in Psalms 42:5. He asks, "Why so disturbed within me?" Today, most people, and indeed many Christ-followers that I witness, change the question into a statement, and the blame is always placed on something or someone else. "I know why I'm so disturbed within me and it's you or that or this!"
Stop blaming. Start looking within.
The antidote for this spiritual disturbance is placing our hope in God, and praising God. That's really not meant to be an oversimplified answer. It is actually quite deep if you'll allow it to be. Today, we Americans live in a culture of disturbance. Everyone is disturbed about something and everyone has the right to be disturbed about anything. Perturbed, disturbed, aggravated, cynical, anxious, worried, tense... these are all unhealthy constants that have been welcomed into the culture today. The psalmist recognized his inner disturbance and sought a solution. Do you recognize your inner disturbance(s)? Do you want a solution or do you want to throw more gas on the fire?
You, and only you, can face your own disturbances and subject them to the will of God in Christ Jesus. You, and only you, can take captive every thought. You, and only you, can instigate the antidotes of hope and praise to cease the illness caused by your inner disturbances.
Stop blaming. Stop complaining. Start hoping. Start praising.
Psalm 42 begins with a very well-known passage:
Psalms 42:1-2 NIV As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Look within. Look to God. Yearn for Him. Thirst for Him. Be un-disturbed. Be unburdened of your needless troubles. Do not follow the world's ways for parading your disturbances.
How would your life be different if you emitted the essence of hope and praise instead of disturbed, disgruntled, disgusted, dis-eased?
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.