Text: Psalm 42
In 1835 a man visited a doctor in Florence, Italy. He was filled with anxiety and exhausted from lack of sleep. He couldn’t eat, and he avoided his friends. The doctor examined him and found that he was in prime physical condition. Concluding that his patient needed to have a good time, the physician told him about a circus in town and its star performer, a clown named Grimaldi. Night after night he had the people rolling in the aisles. “You must go and see him,” the doctor advised. “Grimaldi is the world’s funniest clown. He’ll make you laugh and cure your sadness.” “No,” replied the despairing man, “he can’t help me. you see, I am Grimaldi!”
I. A Depressed Soul Cries Out For Fellowship With God.
A. A Deep yearning (vv. 1, 2)
- A natural part of you is not satisfied. Something is missing.
*** A Japanese woman whose heart was yearning for someone on whom to lean said, "I went to the temple and drew lots to see if I could not get some comfort. I opened the little package which
fell to me and inside it said, "There is no help for you. Lean
on your own shadow and go on." "I was more desperate than ever.
I looked at the great sun by day and the moon by night and felt
there should be someone somewhere who would care for one so
needy as I." As the missionary told her of our Heavenly Father
she burst out with a joyful shout, while tears of relief rolled
down her face. "I thought there ought to be such a God," she
cried. "Oh, I have found Him at last!" --Mabel Francis
B. Anticipating meeting (v. 2)
- Not a blind date, but more like being reunited with a loved one who has been away for a long while.
- Jean talking on the phone with her mother and her excitement about seeing her as compared with prayer to God, and our excitement about being with Him.
C. A fond remembrance (v. 4)
- Souvenirs are to bring back fond recollections of wonderful times past into the present.
- We use our memories as tools to reach out. We Reminisce to recall our Good times and gather our memories about us like so many souvenirs of the times we lived in.
II. A Depressed Soul Cringes Under the Weight of Life.
A. Feeling oppressed (vv. 3, 5-7)
- A heavy weight in mind and spirit.
***"The way of the world is, to praise dead saints, and persecute living ones."
- Nathaniel Howe- _Instant Quotation Dictionary_, p. 202.
B. Feeling alone (v. 9)
- Jesus cries out, why have you forsaken me! he was never forsaken, but he expresses his feelings.
- Loneliness can occur in he midst of a crowd. (My teen years)
*** Loneliness can be the most desolate word in all human language. Chuck Swindoll observed, "[Loneliness] plays no favorites, ignores all rules of courtesy, knows neither border nor barrier, yields no mercy, refuses all bargains, and holds the clock in utter contempt. It cannot be bribed; it will not be left behind. Tears fall from our eyes as groans fall from our lips--but loneliness, that uninvited guest of the soul, arrives at dusk and stays for dinner."
C. Feeling vulnerable (vv. 9-10)
- You feel open to attack. Feel like you have little protection.
- Vulnerable is from the Latin word meaning to wound.
- God knows your feelings. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions. He was vulnerable for our sakes.
III. A Depressed Soul Clings to the Faithfulness of God.
A. The ultimate hope (vv. 5, 11)
- The light at the end of the tunnel. The hope of the hopeless.
***The English poet Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.” But where does man turn when hope dries up?
The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment. A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”
As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept. “That man took away my hope,” he blurted out.
“I guess he did,” replied the director. “Maybe it’s time to find a new one.”
Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, “Is there a hope when hope is taken away? Is there hope when the situation is hopeless? That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible. It becomes a passion for the promise.”
-- Our Daily Bread, December 19, 1996
B. The promise of praise (v. 11)
- Even though praise escapes me for the present, I am promised a heart of praise to come.
*** Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began his prayers with an expression of gratitude. One cold, miserable
day his people wondered what he would say. He prayed, "We thank Thee, O Lord, that it is not always like this."
- There is the assurance that things will eventually work out.
*** I like that story about the boy and his father who were planning a fishing trip for the next day. That evening as the father was putting his son to bed, the boy hugged his father's neck and said, "Daddy, thank you for tomorrow."
-Exploring the Christian Way, by Vernon O. Elmore p.9,10
C. Eventual Deliverance (vv. 5, 11)
- This too will pass.
*** "No one is hopeless whose hope is in God."
"GO TO GOD"
When a friend is feeling sorrow
That you wish that you could share,
And no words of any language
Can remove the grief they bear,
When the unexpected shadows
Fall across the path they trod,
There is no human remedy,
...We have to go to God.
When a brave heart's torn asunder,
And its courage seems so small,
There is no solace found in pain
That over takes us all.
When hot tears keep on falling
'Til they drench the very sod,
To find someone to dry them,
....We have to go to God.
There's a reason for each heartache,
Though we cannot see it now,
And we grow with every sorrow,
That Heaven will allow.
Though we always seek the sunlight,
Earth is still "a vale of tears"
And only God can help us bear
The burden of the years.
We've simply got to trust Him,
And we can't afford to doubt,
Because He has created life,
He knows what it's about.
Because His dear feet also walked
These narrow paths we trod,
To heal our broken spirits,
....We have to go to God.
Poem by: Grace E. Easley