Live in Hope

Key Verse: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
—Psalm 42:11

Selected Scripture:
Psalm 42

IN LAST WEEK’S LESSON from Psalms, “The Right Way,” we noted that to walk in the way of truth and righteousness will be a blessed way. Walking therein produces spiritual growth and fruitage according to the Divine promises. In this lesson we will consider what it means for the Christian to ‘Live in Hope.’

Love for God is the very life of the Christian as expressed by the psalmist. In our Key Verse he says that when we live in hope and put our trust in him there is no reason for the child of God to be cast down or disquieted. In verse one of this psalm he begins with an exaltation relative to the rich blessings that may be derived from such a course in life. He says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.”—Ps. 42:1, New American Standard Version

A special blessing awaits those who thirst after the waters from the Lord’s brook of life. The psalmist continues, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” (vss. 2,3) There is an increasing yearning and appreciation for spiritual blessings as the Lord’s people drink from these waters. The Prophet Isaiah said, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” (Isa. 55:1) The Revelator wrote, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. … And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17) No other symbol expresses the hope set before us better than water. It satisfies the longing heart as nothing else will do.

When the psalmist recalls these special blessings he pours out his very soul with rejoicing and joy. He looks back to the time when he was together with those who came to the house of God for praise and thanksgiving. He then asks, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (vs. 5) How can we forget what God has done for us? There is no cause for us to become fearful or discouraged. We have experienced his blessings in the past, and if we put our hope and trust in him we shall continue to be led by him in the future.

The psalmist was comforted by his thoughts of God wherever he found himself, and he was ready to lift up his heart to him in song and meditation. He tells us, “The Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (vs. 8) He was not going to become discouraged or fearful in any of the affairs of his life.

Fear and discouragement are enemies of the children of God, and they must be overcome if we would prove ourselves faithful to our High Calling. As the specially blessed people of God now living at the end of the Gospel Age, we truly ‘live in hope.’ Although there is much fear in our world today, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”—I John 4:18,19

Dawn Bible Students Association
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