“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.”
(Psalm 42:5-6, NIV)
Hi friends. It is no secret that I have asked for prayer for the Chibok girls, and for the release of Leah Sharibu.
It seems I have been praying and praying for their release for what seems like forever… and it is hard to keep hoping. But the Lord convicted me with the question, “What is your hope in?”
Resoundingly, it has been in my circumstances– and the bettering of them. Instead, Jesus led me toward Psalm 42, where David says to his own heart, “Put your hope in God!”
This is the beautiful thing about Psalm 42, though. In Psalm 42, we find King David in a foreign place, a place where He is waiting upon God for help, for breakthrough, and for an end to his suffering. He starts out with an honest, desperate cry to God over his circumstances.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.”
(Psalm 42:1-4, NIV)
David is going through a lot. But, instead of avoiding God and taking things into his own hands, He expresses a precious sentiment: That He is hungry for more of God, thirsty for God’s Presence in His life. He could curse Christ for his predicament; but he knows God as the One who is his refuge; a God who is for Him, not against Him (Romans 8:31).
Yet, knowing that Christ is for him, and not against him, does not remove all of his pain. He, in the midst of his pain and suffering, even his fear, King David decides to praise God in the midst of his pain.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.”
(Psalm 42:5, NIV)
A commentary by Warren Wiersbe speaks about this place David is at, in “the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from the Mount Mizar.” Wiersbe mentions that the heights of Hermon are a place where melted snow would create cascades of water, a place of tumult—and that “Mizar” means “littleness”1.
King David was literally in a tumultuous place, a place where it was hard to not feel small, and perhaps easily overwhelmed. It would have been easy for King David to be swept up in his own despair, but he doesn’t allow himself to be.
This decision seems to be a turning point for King David… but it is more than just “the power of positive thinking.” The secret was this: King David decided to remember who God is.
Perhaps this is what you needed to hear, today. In the midst of a place that is both desolate and stormy, a place where you can easily be swept up in the pain, anger, and sadness of it all—“take a moment to remember who God is,” like Will Reagan of United Pursuit sings.
Who is God? Let’s look back at Psalm 42. In verses 8-11, these are the things David remembers who God is:
- Jehovah God, the God of the Covenant—the God who keeps His Promises (verse 8, Warren Wiersbe’s commentary)
- A God who pours out His Unfailing Love onto David (verse 8, in the New Living Translation)
- His Rock (verse 9)
- His Savior (verse 11)
As I pray for the Chibok girls, I remember this: Jesus is the God who delights in His People, those who have put their trust in Him. I believe He has promised vindication for these young women. He has come to seek and to save, and He is Mighty to save these women (Luke 19:10; Isaiah 62:4-5, 11). Ultimately, whatever He decides to do, He is in control.
Does it hurt to not know for sure what He will do next? A little. Yet, knowing Him personally, I would not have it any other way.
Christ does not change, guys (Hebrews 13:8). So, as we pray for the release of these precious young women, and as we wonder what is truly going on, I pray that we would, instead of being overwhelmed or drowned in despair, stand upon the truth of who we know Jesus Christ to be—both in His Word, and through everything He has ever brought us through.
Let’s put our Hope in the Lord– Because He is good. Always.
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
(Psalm 46:10, NIV)
Friend, let this be food for thought: Who is God to you? Who has God revealed Himself to be through his entire and only Word, the Bible, to you? Let’s remember who He is and stand upon Him, today.
Do you know Jesus?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)
The God of the Bible, the One and Only True God, is a God that does not change His Nature, no matter what we, humans, do. He is forever Loving, forever Sovereign, and forever forgiving.
But there is no way to God beside knowing Jesus Christ as a person’s Lord and Savior (John 14:6). God does not change, and neither does the only way to salvation, no matter what the world says. Learn more about Jesus, and His free gift of salvation, here.
Please pray for (you can print out the prayer sheet, here):
- The Chibok girls. Whether there are 15 or 112, please continue to pray for them and their soon release/escape. Jesus is faithful! You can find a link to many of their names and pictures, here.
- For Jesus to bring His Hope, and remembrance of His promises, to those in despair over this situation—especially the family, friends, and loved ones of those who are missing.
- For the situation concerning their release. Please pray that Jesus would work powerfully through all of the negotiations and situations that may or may not be occurring. He is Mighty to save!!
Thank you for your prayers!! ❤