ODJ: hope renewed

November 27, 2014 

READ: Psalm 34:1-22 

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time (v.19).

In December 2013, Australian worship leader Darlene Zschech went for a routine mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the turmoil of raw emotions, specialist appointments and the scans and surgery that followed, she instinctively reached for hope from God’s Word—the Psalms in particular. In January 2014 she Tweeted, “Psalm 91 in any version; God is so good to us all, cling to His Word and find hope that will never disappoint.”

The Psalms are full of hope in the midst of tough times: the shameful consequences of sin (Psalms 32, 38, 51), the sorrow of loss (31:9, 116:3, 119:28), the wounds of rejection (27:10, 34:17-20, 66:16-20, 94:14) and the persistence of those who aim to ruin us (56:9, 59:1,10, 60:12).
David battled the ravages of depression. Yet in his darkest, most vulnerable moments, he spoke to his soul and commanded it to hope in God (42:11, 43:5). His efforts to run from the presence of his Creator proved futile, and he finally succumbed to the God he could never outrun (139:7-12).
The vulnerability found in the Psalms give hope to people such as the young person struggling with the destructive lure of sin (119:9-16), and the adult consumed by the ravages of rejection at birth (139:13-17). And when we’re about to be consumed by hopelessness, we’re assured that we’ll see the goodness of the Lord in this lifetime (27:13-14).
The Psalms point us to a God who doesn’t desert us in our weakness or at our most vulnerable moments. He journeys with us through the valley of the shadow of death, leaving us free from fear and full of hope (23:2-6). As David wrote, “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” (34:4).
—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan› 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

Read Jeremiah 29:11-13 and be encouraged by the God who gives you “a future and a hope”. 
When have you given up and given in to the turmoil of a hopeless life? Speak to your soul as David did, and command it to worship the God in whom you trust and hope.