‘Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.’
Psalm 42:5 (NIV)
Often we think of hope as an object. But like faith and love, hope is directional.
We hope in something.
We hope for something.
We feel hopeful about something.
Here the writer of Psalm 42 gives himself a talking to – reminding himself of where his hope his placed. Put your hope in God.
How often do we look for hope as if it was a thing in itself, when the key is to look towards the source of our hope? All of us have times when we are downcast – when it’s hard to get up in the morning, when it’s a struggle to get through the day. And there are many times when we feel disturbed inside – frantic, weary, confused. Perhaps we simply feel overwhelmed by the world.
At moments like this it’s good to stop and remind ourselves: Put your hope in God. We shift our focus away from the things that trouble us and fix our eyes on our Saviour. It changes things – our attitudes, our priorities, our perspective on life.
Stop. Breathe. Think about where you are placing your hope. It only needs to take a minute to remind yourself. The more rushed and busy you are, the more important that moment is. Lord, help me look to you for my hope today.
Just a moment. Don’t let the world tell you have no time for it. We live in a culture all about achievement and success, trying to do the most we can in the smallest amount of time. But we are called to have a different perspective.
It’s not a quick fix or a magic trick – it’s a daily decision we have to make, and not always an easy one. Whatever happens today, I have to decide where I’m going to place my hope. My prayer is that we will grow to recognise the true source of our hope at all times.
To think about:
- What are the things that take my focus away from God? How can I identify them
- Do I need to carve out a space in my day where I can stop and re-focus on God?
- When would be the best time to do it?
- How can I remind myself to put my hope in God on a daily basis?
Father, sometimes the world knocks me off balance. Sometimes I get lost in whirls of worry and confusion. So often I forget the source of my hope. Help me learn to look towards you, to put my hope in you, so that I may praise you – my Saviour and my God.