Encouragements for our troubled times No. 39

COVID-19 Series | Date: 17 December 2020

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Pastor

*Psalm 42:5**

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."

It would appear that the Psalmist had a great deal to feel disquieted about. For some reason, he is no longer able to go with the multitude to Jerusalem to keep the pilgrim feast. No longer able to appear before God in the house of God. He is in a foreign land, oppressed by God’s enemies, who mock him and say “where is your God.” And because of these things he feels fearful, dejected and forgotten. But twice (in verses 5 &11), it is as though he shakes off his depression and realises that he has no reason to feel this way. Look at what he pulls himself up with.

First, he asks himself a question, “why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” He is challenging himself and asking ‘what reason do I have to feel this way. What right do I have to be so cast down when God is on my side working all things together for my good?’ And this is a question that we should ask ourselves when we are cast down. We may be going through hardships and be in a dark place. There may be things happening to us which cause us great anxiety and distress. But that is not reason enough to think that our Heavenly Father has forgotten us and does not care. He does not promise us a bed of roses but does promise us that no matter what happens to us, He will work it out for our good. And no matter what befalls us, He will be with us, to help and support us and keep us, all the way. We have to pull ourselves up and think upon these truths. We need to stop doubting our Heavenly Father and start trusting in His mercy, goodness and love for us, His dear children.

Instead of being cast down and depressed by what His enemies say, he realises that he should hope in God, for he shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. The help of His countenance means that God will look favourably and benignly upon him. Of course, He will, because God’s children are the apple of His eye, so vulnerable and precious to Him that He protects and shields them with the utmost care and attention. Therefore, the Psalmist is absolutely certain that he will yet have cause to praise his God and he can confidently hope in Him. We too are the apple of our Fathers eye. He loves and cares for us just as much and we can, with the same confidence, hope in God that we will, in every circumstance or condition that we find ourselves in, have cause to lift our hearts to Him in wonder, love and praise at His grace and mercy towards us.

All the way my Saviour leads me; What have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my guide?

Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know what’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.