Psalm 42:5

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.

Summer is my favorite time of year, by far. It is those three precious months when I feel the most like myself. I live for time at the beach, in the sun, with my people. Fall is nice, and the holidays keep me busy. By the time the New Year rolls around, my seasonal depression is in full swing. My body aches for the sun. Sure, there are things that help. But so often I find myself back in bed, waiting for the sun to return.

In previous verses, the psalmist expresses feelings of isolation from the Lord and from others. He had something really special, and it’s gone now. However, in this season of depression, he chooses to remember God’s character. The psalmist knows that God remains the same, even when our circumstances change. As hard as the winter is, the sun never hides forever; neither does our Father always keep us in a state of sadness and waiting.

Thank you, Lord, for listening to us when we express our anguish. Help us to trust you when we cannot feel you close; remind of us of your goodness when we are hurting.

– Olivia Huffman

Psalm 32:3-5

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. 

This summer, I ran a 100-mile, 4- person relay. I felt great at the start! However, around mile 14-15, I began to feel the effects of dehydration, summer heat, and being undertrained. For miles, my body was cramping up, I started to get light-headed, and every step felt like a crushing weight. One of my teammates stepped in to take a portion of my leg as I tried to recover.

In Psalm 32:3-5, we hear David falling under the crushing weight of unconfessed sin. He describes it as his bones wasting, body groaning, and strength sapped from him. The longer he held it in, the worse it made him feel. That is, until he acknowledged and confessed his sins to the Lord.

We can feel tempted to not confess our sin to the Lord or even to a friend. We may be afraid of the reactions of friends or family. We may even fear the consequences that come with it. When we bring ourselves, humbly, to the Lord in confession of what’s been hurting us inside; the entire weight that was crushing our bones is lifted! He forgives and heals us. Is there sin in your life you need to confess today?

Lord, draw us to yourself and grant us the grace to lay our burdens before you. Open our hearts and see the sin that weighs us down. Forgive us our sins and help us to run this race by your strength.

– Sara Brown

Psalm 111:2,10

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them… The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

How do we begin to delight? We start with the one who made us to delight. In v. 2, we learn that the works of the Lord are numbered as “great.” Are we delighting yet? Scripture goes on to say that only those who study them can delight. Through his works, his character is revealed because they are inseparable. We must study and learn for we cannot delight in someone we do not know.

I have learned some of the greatest lessons in delighting through failure. I have studied the flute for many years and all the efforts in learning this instrument, repertoire, music theory, and endless practicing have allowed me to appreciate its beauty in a unique way. I have also failed many music classes and numbered just as many embarrassing performances. Yet, delighting has never hinged on our success or perfection. Just as my failure does not make me any less of a delighter in the flute, neither does our sin make us lesser delighters in God. Christ has credited to us his righteousness, that we may delight in him and know him more fully. We must accept his gift of delighting in him.

Since we cannot delight in what we do not know, v. ten tells us how we study in order to delight. A knowledge of the works of God establishes a healthy fear. This is the beginning of wisdom, which is not just knowledge, but skillfully applied knowledge. Wisdom understands who he is as holy and who we are as unworthy, yet made worthy by him. When we practice the fear of the Lord we gain better understanding and ability to delight in the works of the Lord.

The question remains then: How do we delight? We practice the fear of the Lord. We study the scriptures. We rehearse in our hearts the works of the Lord revealed in scripture and in our own lives. We establish an active prayer life to communicate with God and reflect upon his works and his character.  We accept his gift of delighting in Him.

Father in Heaven, you are the source of all good things and in you are all needs met. Remind us of our neediness that we may come to you and delight in your good works and character. Give us humble hearts that long for you and the richness of your word. Your praise endures forever! Amen

– Brittnee Barlow