Psalm 42 is the basis for another popular worship song, "As the Deer." Such a vivid word picture; an excellent illustration of David's desire to be closer to God. Our desire to be in the presence of God should be like our desire for cool water when thirsty. Later in the passage, David repeats the question: "Why, my soul, are you downcast?" Let us remember this question as we read the passage...
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
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. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your 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."
Can you recall a time when your soul was downcast? A time when things are not going well and you can not seem to beat the blues. The solution David offers is to praise God, to place our trust in God. This theme is continued in Psalm 43:
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.
In times of trial, in times of sadness, and in times of persecution we must turn to God and put our faith in Him. God can quench the longings of our soul in ways that we cannot imagine. Turn to God and praise His name. Offer your hurts to Him for He is faithful and loving. He will use those hurts to make you mature and complete, not lacking in anything. God alone can provide a peace that surpasses human understanding.