THE WAY OF HOPE AND PRAISE Read Psalm 43

Many Hebrew manuscripts of  the Psalms unite the 42nd and 43rd  as one Psalm.  For in both the cry of the soul, the parched and thirsty soul, for the living God is evident, with the phrases ‘why are you downcast, of my Soul?  Why so disturbed within me?’ are repeated 3 times .  Why, why, why?  Questions we have asked ourselves and the Lord at times in our lives… maybe even today?  Praise God the  Psalmist comes to a wonderful conclusion in both Psalms saying ‘Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God’. But we ask–how did he get to that point in his life.  The place all of us who are believers want to be…close to God, hoping in Him alone, trusting Jesus no matter what, counting our many blessings naming them one by one.  That’s where we want to be.  Yes?  Right?  So, how does he get there?  How can we?  I think the key is found in what we call Psalm 43 verse 3 where it says ‘send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me…’  Read that verse again.  Who or what does that sound like to you?  To me, I picture God’s gracious gifts of His Messiah, His Son Jesus; and the Bible given to us as light and truth to guide us through the  perilous journey of life in a sinful world.  Jesus, the Light of the world.  Jesus, the way and the truth…making our paths clearer and brighter and crisper, who points the way and even goes with us, who is above us and below, in front and behind holding our hands as we run and crawl, stumble and fall, get up and go…with Him.  And His Word, the Bible, our GPS in life, the AAA triptik  moving us forward, the love letters that will never fail, phony flatter  or forsake.  The Bible–our hope and strength for the days to come!  While in Charleston area for the past couple months, my wife and I visited  both the Magnolia and Middleton Plantations.  Beautiful places of such natural wonder–the azaleas were in full bloom and just breath-taking.  Both were originally very successful and profitable rice plantations until after the Civil War.  So, I decided to read once again Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe on the horrors of the labor that made those plantations run so profitably,  that is slavery.  Let me recommend this classic if you haven’t read it or its been awhile as it was for me.  Uncle Tom, the slave hero of the story, is an amazing, committed Christian under the most terrible circumstances in life.  Yet, listen to his hope in God, his habit of receiving the light and truth he needs to make it through…”Is it strange, then, that some tears fall on the pages of his Bible, as he lays it on the cotton-bale, and, with patient finger, threading his slow way from word to word, traces out its promises?  Having learned late in life,Tom was but a slow reader, and passed on laboriously from verse to verse.  Fortunately for him was it that the book he was intent on was one which slow reading cannot injure,–nay, one whose words, like ingots of gold, seem often to need to be weighed separately, that the mind may take in their priceless value.  Let us follow him a moment, as, pointing to each word, and pronouncing each half aloud, he reads, ‘Let—not—your—heart—be—troubled…'”

God has sent His light and truth in Jesus and the Bible…who could ask for anything more?

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