“O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore” (Ps. 131 ESV).
That’s Psalm 131. Now, let’s look at Psalm 42:5.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? …” (ESV).
One presents a calm and quiet soul. The other a soul in turmoil. And the difference is hope.
As the psalmist continues in 42:5, “… Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation” (ESV).
He instructs his agitated soul to hope in God. And we must do the same.
It’s a difficult time for most people. There’s a pandemic. An uncertain economy. Riots, protests, and strikes. And more. How calm and quiet is your soul?
If it’s anything like mine, it’s often rambunctious. It refuses to rest. The cares and concerns of this life overwhelm me. And my soul feels more tumultuous than calm. More demanding than quiet. Can you relate?
If so, will you hope in God today?
It takes humility. You must admit your inability to save yourself. Notice what David says in Psalm 131: “O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me” (v. 1).
Most of my anxieties come from worrying about things out of my control. Most of my stress is a result of believing everything needs to be flawless. And rather than trusting in God, I trust in myself. Instead, I should humble myself before God, admitting my desperate need for His grace.
The Bible says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7 ESV).
A hopeful soul is a humble soul. In Psalm 42, the psalmist directs his soul to God. Why? Because God is His salvation.
It’s hard to hope in a God you don’t know. Maybe approaching God in humility means surrendering your life to Christ. Have you repented of your sin and trusted in His work on the cross?
But for those of us who know Christ, we have great hope. As the famous hymn reads, “Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, / Let this blest assurance control, / That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, / And hath shed His own blood for my soul. / It is well, / With my soul, / It is well, it is well with my soul” (Horatio Spafford).
I’m not sure what troubles you today. But God does. I pray He gives you a calm and quiet soul as you hope in Him.
Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at www.isaiahpauley.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.