Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked.
You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
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. (Psalms 43 – NIV)
The book of Psalms has been written for our instruction. Through this book, you can learn about the character of God; you can learn about yourself and life. The Psalms help us think and feel in a way that is God-pleasing and good for our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellness.
Also, do you know that there is a Psalm for every occasion? Let me share with you some examples:
- Loneliness: “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalms 25:16)
- Regret: “I am sorry for my sin” (Psalms 38:18)
- Discouragement and turmoil: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalms 42:5)
- Peace: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep” (Psalms 4:8)
And the list goes on and on. The Psalms could be a great source of peace and joy for you when going through a season of darkness in your life.
Today I want to share with you some thoughts based on Psalms 43.
To give us some context, let’s read first verse 5, part a.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Without a doubt, the writer of this piece of poetry was navigating really tough times. This verse shows us that even Christians get downcast and discouraged.
The writer of this Psalm belonged to a group of priest in Israel whose specific task was to sing to the Lord. The fact that they were serving God didn’t mean that they were immune to sufferings and afflictions.
If the Lord Jesus Himself had to walk through the valley of shadow of death and experienced great suffering on his way to the Cross, how much more we, mere men, would have to face sufferings of different sorts in life. During His life, Jesus had to face betrayals, indifference, poverty and homelessness (remember that He was a Galilean… and Galilee in those times was filled with political turmoil, violence, and poverty), among others. His own brothers rejected Him. His earthly father passed away when He was still a teenager. When talking about suffering, Jesus knew it all!
1) When you’re suffering persecution and injustice, plead to God!
Let us read now verses 1 and 2.
Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?
These two verses show us that many times in life we would feel that many things are just not fair. Those feelings of injustice will come and will try to conquer you. When you give in to these kinds of thoughts, you will feel more agitated and angry towards God, yourself or others. This state of mind is very harmful and will deteriorate your physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.
The remedy to the feelings of injustice is to turn to God and plead to Him. You need to know Him as your Father, as your loving Father. God is love, and He will vindicate you. He will fight for you. Just come to Him with a repented heart and give Him your sorrows, your pain, your sins, and your guilt. In exchange, He will give you His love, His peace, His grace and His forgiveness.
It is a good spiritual exercise to talk to God and bring before Him your cause. Even you feel like He is “not answering” when you pray and talk to God about your situation, you are actually removing all that from your heart and giving it to Him.
The writer of this Psalm describes those who are persecuting him. They are unfaithful, deceitful and wicked. Maybe you have met people like that, and they have hurt you deeply. God knows. Maybe you have tried to cover your hurting with addictions, or you have been just trying to avoid facing it, but you need to. You need to bring it all to God. You need to tell Him your story.
The Psalmist knows what to do. He turns to God and pleads to Him for His rescue. The problem is that many of us are looking after the wrong rescuers. My friend, you can’t rescue yourself from depression and hurt. Jesus Christ is the only Rescuer who has the power to rescue you from sin and death and give you everlasting life.
But, as verse 2 says, He is also our ever-present stronghold. He won’t let you down.
The writer of this poem was in such turmoil that he even believed that God had rejected him, but that was not the case, as it is shown in verse 5.
The enemy was oppressing him and because of that, he was in constant mourning. Can you name your enemies? Are you living in a constant state of mourning?The remedy to the feelings of injustice is to turn to God and plead to Him.Click To Tweet
2) When feeling down, lift yourself up by letting God lead you!
Let us read now verses 3 and 4.
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
When you are feeling oppressed and depressed, you need to realize that you are not alone. You “feel” alone because the darkness has covered you and you can’t see God around you. The writer of this poem knew it well, and because of that, he asks God to send His light and His faithful care.
God is inviting you to see His light. He wants you to experience His faithful care. He takes good care of His children. Let Him take care of you and ask Him to shed His light upon you so you can see your circumstances differently.
It is interesting to note that the only way you can change your circumstances is by letting God lifting yourself up. For that, you will need to seek His light (His Word – “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105) and His faithful care, which other versions translate as “Truth.”
Sometimes this is a hard thing to do because, generally speaking, we don’t like to listen. You need to learn to listen to God and to listen to those that God has put in your way. They want the best for you because God wants the best for you. That is His faithful care.
If you follow God’s light and His truth and care then He will lead you to His “holy mountain,” a biblical reference to His Presence, that Spiritual life that Jesus promised to all of those that would follow Him. God’s invitation is this: Come and dwell with me.
Verse 4 shows us that for all this, we will need to be determined. The Psalmist decided to stop feeling sorry for himself and took responsibility for his life by deciding to go to the altar of God (God’s Presence, your life with God, prayer, Bible meditation, joining a church) and start praising God again. He knows that in doing so, he would find the joy and the delight he needs in life.
3) When you are feeling discouraged and hopeless, put your hope in your Savior!
Finally, let us read verse 5 again.
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.
The finals “why’s” were not meant as a “why is this happening to me?” but rather as a “why should I continue feeling this way?” The Psalmist found the peace and hope he needed in God’s everlasting arms. How he did it? Let me you so you can also do the same today.
The Psalmist found out that more important than listening to your soul is to talk to your soul. He understood that the soul could become a really bad advisor. After receiving God’s light and instruction, he spoke to his soul and commanded his soul to put its hope in God. Stop putting your hopes in something or someone else. Put your hope in God.
Even in his wording, you can see hope in action: “For I will yet praise Him.” He knew it wasn’t over. Nothing was lost yet. After putting his hope in God, he realized there was much to live yet. He had the assignment of living for God and to praise Him.
My friend, you and I, share the same assignment. We have been created to praise God. I want to invite you today to take an in-depth look at your life. Do you need a Savior? Do you need a Rescuer? Do you need a Stronghold? Aren’t you tired of facing your enemies? Aren’t you tired of living in darkness? Come to His light and grab Jesus’ hand. He wants to lift you up and change your view of life. Would you let Him?