1 … As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day, Where is your God?
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul on me; for I had gone with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping the feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and moan within me? Hope in God; for I shall praise Him for the salvation of His face.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermons, from mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and Your billows have gone over me.
8 The LORD will command His loving- kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, my prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my rock, Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the cruelty of the enemy? 10 As with a sword in my bones, my enemies shame me; while they say daily to me, Where is your God?
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why do you moan within me? Hope in God; for I still praise Him, the salvation of my face, and my God.
We have great cause to mourn for sin; but being cast down springs from unbelief and a rebellious will; we should therefore strive and pray against it.
Matthew Henry Commentary
Hope is the eager expectation of something good happening. Think about when you have a check coming in the mail; you look forward to it, excited about it’s arrival, although you don’t know what day it will arrive. You just believe the person who says they have sent it (have faith in what they promised) and hope to receive it sooner than later. You may have so much faith that you make a purchase on your credit card, planning on using the money that has been promised to you and for which you eagerly await,
The problem happens when someone in your life repeatedly says a check is coming, but they never send it. We lose our faith in that person’s word, and lose our hope. We may hear that the person paid someone else, but not us, and that can make us feel angry or envious.
Many of us are discouraged and angry because we hear of other people “getting checks” that we want, and we can’t force the person to send us the check. That is when we must think back on the character of the person sending the check. Is He normally faithful and keeps His promised? If so, we must believe the Word He has spoken to us, and continue to eagerly expect the promise’s fulfilment.
Therefore, the answer to a downcast soul is to
– bring to mind the times when you have experienced personally, or have heard of someone else experiencing, God’s goodness,
– remember the unchanging nature of God’s faithfulness, and
– eagerly expect to experience His goodness in your life again (put your hope in God).
Having this hope gives you the desire to seek after God.
If you seek him, you will find Him.
If you find him, you will have everything you need to deal with your circumstances.
The psalmist looked to the Lord as his chief good, and set his heart upon him accordingly; casting anchor thus at first, he rides out the storm.
Matthew Henry Commentary