Self talk

When things go out of control, your situation may seem hopeless. As you dwell on the situation, your perception may gradually degenerate. Your feeling of hopelessness may go even deeper. 

But in the midst of our hopelessness, even when we see no solution, God is our solution. The psalmist experienced lots of turmoil and heartache, but he held on to God as his hope. His words show the depth of his trust in God. 

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)

First, he questions his emotional condition. He doesn’t ignore the physical reality but simply recognizes it for what it is. But he clearly questions his response. “Why are you cast down?” and “Why are you in turmoil?” These are the two questions he asks himself. Both are meant to evaluate his emotions. 

Second, he refocuses his emotions. He tells himself to hope in God. The words have the force of a command: “Hope in God.” When his soul was “cast down,” he told it to hope in God. His emotions were in turmoil, but he redirects it to hope in God. 

Third, there is a clear reason for “commanding” himself to refocus and hope in God. He recognizes God as his salvation. He has a history with God as his savior, the one who has rescued him from his troubles. 

In the midst of his troubles, it sure seemed like God wasn’t with him, or that God wasn’t for him. But he quickly reassures himself with hope in God as his only source of salvation. 

Wow! What a reality. How often have I looked at my circumstances instead of God who is my salvation? It’s time for some better self-talk for myself. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and God.” (Psalm 43:5) 

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