In the Book of Psalms, a verse is repeated almost verbatim three times: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5).
We can sense the agony of the psalmist, vividly expressing his inner turmoil. He described himself as being disquieted, which means to be in great commotion or tumult, to be in a rage, to be in an uproar, to be moved, to be loud, to be in a stir. Apparently, he was not just a little upset or perturbed. He was quite upset! He was the complete opposite of calm.
Let’s face it. Sometimes life just does not go the way we want it to. Unexpected events come along that rock our world. We are left bereft of answers. We want the trial to end. We are in a state of emotional anguish. We experience what the psalmist experienced. We feel what he felt.
Talk to Your Soul
In the midst of our human frailty, in the midst of utter inner chaos, we have a glimmer of light. It is hope in God. No matter how dark our tunnel is, that faint glimmer beckons to us. It calls to us. It draws us, slowly, out of the pit of despair. Maybe all is not lost, we think. Maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be a brighter day.
The psalmist spoke to his soul. He told it, “Hope in God!”
Your soul is your will, your intellect, and your emotions. At times when we feel cast down, our soul seems weak and defenseless against life’s blows. But we need to talk to our souls.
“Hope in God, Soul!”
Antidote for Inner Turmoil
The Hebrew word for hope in these verses is yachal. Essentially it means to patiently wait, to trust. Lamentations 3:25–26 says, “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
The antidote for inner turmoil is: Hope in God. Believe in Him. Wait on Him. Trust Him.
Notice that the psalmist did not say: “Hope in the economy. Hope in doctors. Hope in your family. Hope in people.” Don’t put your hope in the economy, your job, or your ability to make money. That could all crumble in an instant. Don’t put your ultimate hope in people. They can let you down.
Through all the ups and downs of life, our ultimate hope must be in God and God alone. In this way, we will not remain disquieted. Hope in God. This is the way to prevent inner turmoil from consuming our thoughts and damaging our spirits. To hope in God is the beautiful solution we have been looking for. When we hope in God, He rewards us by giving us inner calm that we can get from no other source.
“Hope in God, Soul!”