Sad by Stubborn: Even in Pain

“My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:10-11)

Have you ever been so sick or injured or sad that you thought you were going to die – or felt like maybe you wanted to? The writer of Psalm 42 seems to be describing severe physical pain on top of all of his emotional suffering on top of being mocked along with his God.

sad_350Once more, though, he refuses to give up. After asking God the hard “why” questions in the previous verse, he turns the questions on himself again: “Why am I so downcast? This is not the end. My hope is in the God who saves – I will not stop praising Him.”

Job made a similar declaration when in physical and emotional agony at no fault of his own. He said about the God he was convinced could end his suffering, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” (See Job 13:15.)

For those who trust in God, life’s worst days call for the best kind of stubbornness to keep hoping in the God who saves, to keep trusting and praising the God who comforts and rescues and will one day bring us home.

Think: How much harder is it to trust and hope in God when you are hurting physically as well as emotionally? How much difference does it make to know that God is for us and that Christ understands our physical and emotional pain after what he experienced on the cross?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be stubborn even when you’re sad, to keep praising, trusting and hoping in him even on your hardest days.

Do: If you know a Christian who lives with ongoing physical pain and still seems to trust God and live joyfully, think about asking how he or she does that.