As we prepare to worship on this Palm Sunday, read Psalms 42-44.
Life brings us moments of great joy that cause us to rejoice. When we walk with God in those moments, we respond by giving thanks to him for his love and favor.
Life also brings us moments of anguish, grief, and questioning and each of these three Psalms reflect the yearning heart of someone who trusts in God but has a deep need that God has not yet filled. Psalm 42:1 is well known for it’s beautiful presentation of a thirsty deer running toward a stream for a quenching drink of water. Like that deer, the Psalmist said, “my should pants for you, my God.”
But this panting for God is not the cry of a happy, godly man who wishes to worship. It is the deep cry of a godly person in agony who is crying out for God’s intervention: “My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” (v. 3).
How does the Psalmist deal with this spiritual thirst? By reminding himself of the good days of joyful worship in God’s temple (v. 4) and by encouraging himself by faith to keep looking to God: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Are you suffering today? Longing to come to church in joyful worship but wondering how you can muster the energy to sing even one note of praise? Let these Psalms give voice to your struggles. Pray Psalm 42 aloud, if you will, and ask God for the faith to trust him until he provides and the joy of salvation returns to your life.