“The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun. The brightness of our life is gone.” – Henry Wadesworth Longfellow
Have you ever experienced a time when the brightness of your life seemed gone? If you’ve lived for more than 30 seconds, I’m pretty sure you have. Of course, there are times when sorrow or grief seem to overwhelm us; when crushed hopes and sudden disappointments seem to take all happiness from our lives. But for the Christian, I don’t believe this should be a permanent darkness.
As I’ve passed through various dark and seeming hopeless seasons in my life, I have found much comfort in the Psalms. The writings of the Psalms are full of emotions… sorrow, anger, pain, tears, despair. They are real. And they seem to “connect” to my life in a powerful way. There have been many seasons where I’ve simply “camped out” in the Psalms and have met such sweet comfort there.
In Psalm 42 David says to himself: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God; for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
But, what does it mean to hope in God? When hopes seem gone like the noonday sun and the brightness seems forever gone, what do we do?
First, remember that God is sovereign. No matter what circumstance you face, nothing takes Him by surprise. He is in control, and as the writer of Psalm 71 states, He is worthy of our confidence and praise.
Second, remember that God is perfect justice. Psalm 37 assures us that evil will be punished and that even the prosperity of the wicked is fleeting. Wait for the Lord, He delivers those who take refuge in Him.
Third, remember that God will be with you. Psalm 139 reminds us that even darkness is not dark to God.
Turn to God for comfort and peace in the midst of sorrow. Only He can give joy and rest. His compassion is new every morning. His tenderness is great towards His children and the storehouses His mercies can never be emptied. Even in deep grief, God is our hope.
How good God is! Remember that even when with eyes of tears, we watch our hopes and dreams die, we can trust and rest in knowing that joy and brightness will return; for it does not rest in anything but Jesus Christ. He alone is our hope, our strength and our comfort.
[copyrighted, 2009, Emily Schankweiler]