Despair—When God Is Gone — and with Him, Hope

When you’ve reached the level of despair, you are almost on the last rung; only demoralization awaits. However, Beloved, do not despair. There is hope. There is a way of escape.Victory is not impossible if you will only listen to your Commander and do what He says.

The psalmist knew what despair was like. He also knew the cure. Read [esvignore]Psalm 42[/esvignore] again. It is printed out below. Every time you come to the words despair and hope, mark each in a distinctive color or way so that you can readily spot them.

[esvignore]Psalm 42[/esvignore]

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As a shattering of my bones,
my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Now that you have finished, let’s see what you can learn about despair and how to deal with it.

  1. What is the psalmist’s condition? How is it described in this psalm?
  2. What does the psalmist ask his soul? What benefit can you see in this, if any?
  3. What does the psalmist do in order to handle his despair?
  4. Finally, Beloved, what have you learned that you could put into practice? Be as specific as possible.

Now, why don’t you turn all you have learned into a prayer to God.

This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.

Additional Bible study resources on Spiritual Warfare.

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