Psalms 42

* The conflict in the soul of a believer.1-5 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. A gracious soul can take little

satisfaction in God's courts, if it do not meet with God himself

there. Living souls never can take up their rest any where short

of a living God. To appear before the Lord is the desire of the

upright, as it is the dread of the hypocrite. Nothing is more

grievous to a gracious soul, than what is intended to shake its

confidence in the Lord. It was not the remembrance of the

pleasures of his court that afflicted David; but the remembrance

of the free access he formerly had to God's house, and his

pleasure in attending there. Those that commune much with their

own hearts, will often have to chide them. See the cure of

sorrow. When the soul rests on itself, it sinks; if it catches

hold on the power and promise of God, the head is kept above the

billows. And what is our support under present woes but this,

that we shall have comfort in Him. 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.
6-11 The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of

our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God's wrath, and

that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after

another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember

they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards

the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for.

In the Saviour's name let us hope and pray. One word from him

will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light

of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our

believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it.

At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to

trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God.

He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over

all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our

life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we

have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the

psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and

hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving

doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then

plead it to God
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