Week 4: Psalms 42-56

Do you ever wonder why?

My week has been full of painful stories.  Stories from women in the midst of incredible pain and crisis.  Stories of…

  • Broken relationships, marriages 
  • Desperate financial situations
  • Mothers & daughters at incredible odds
  • Parents struggling with the results of their children’s poor decisions

My heart has hurt for these women.  The struggle, the pain in their eyes is almost too much as they seek answers to their staggering questions.

In this world you will have trouble.”  John 16:33

Jesus pulls the curtain back a bit and reveals a truth that is a difficult one to hear.  He is intentional with His words, assuring us that during our days here, we will have trouble. The NAS uses the word “tribulation” and it translates into “a pressing” and “distress”.

And while the verse finishes with“But take heart! I have overcome the world”

How does our heart make that leap from such pain to such promise? 

The psalmists absolutely knew pain.  They experienced incredibly desperate situations:

  • Broken hearts
  • False accusations
  • Laments over sin
  • Huge questions 
  • Doubts

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,  “Where is your God?”  Psalm 42:9-10

It assures my heart that even these, these men of God chosen to pen this book of Psalms, were not afraid to express doubts and ask questions.  

Because I’ve asked them.  

Anyone else asking questions?  Anyone wondering why?  Anyone feel as if your very bones are breaking under the “pressing”, the taunts of the enemy of our soul?

What do I believe?

At the end of the day, when we lay our head down on the pillow, we must ultimately answer this one question:  What do I believe about my God?

This morning as I took a walk, the weight of my own burdens began to fill my mind.  I could feel all my emotions begin to churn.  When this happens, I usually go one of two ways:

  1. The anxiety goes viral and invades.  My mind races after thoughts of how to fix, mediate, or take care of the problem.  I become consumed with the weight of it.
  2. I stuff the thoughts out of my mind and ignore them all together (picture a kid covering her ears yelling “la-la-la-la-I can’t hear you”).

But recently my heart keeps coming back to this question… “What do I believe?”  

How I answer speaks volumes.  In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby writes, “Your relationship with God right now reveals what you believe about Him”.

As we read through the book of Psalms and see the promises and truths about who God is, how would our lives be different if we really believed what it said?  

This question has been so strong within me that my weekly Themes, Questions, Reflections and Challenges that normally fill this space are consolidated into this one thought:

Believe Him.

Girls this does not mean that we don’t question.  Or hurt.  Or wonder why.  This by no means is meant to minimize anything you may be experiencing or walking though.  The pain of life, that trouble that Jesus assured us of, is often times more than we ever thought we would experience.

Believe Him.

He asks us to “take heart”…. and believe.  

As you read Psalms 42-56 this week and continue with your Praise Journal, I encourage you to spend some time in worship.  This song by Chris Tomlin says it so clearly.  

Sing it sister.  And believe it with all you’ve got.


  1. Susie on June 28, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Wow, Julie. This was such a good reminder and thought today. Sometimes we get so caught up in our days, our comings and goings, and the hardships we go through that we forget to take a step back. It’s so important to remember to sit with Him for just a moment even, and seek Him. And believe. He does care and his ways are so much better than ours. Believe Him!

  2. Samantha on June 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Thank you Julie, this was really great for me to read. Thank you! I feel like I’m in the midst of this turnmoil of doubt and confussion as if I was forgotten by God. Wondering when everything will stop spinning. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone and that once again the bible is the source of all the answers I need. It’s where I can find Him when I feel lost. It’s my map, guide book, and compass. Thank you.

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