On this New Year, let’s shift our focus on what’s spiritual and eternal, instead of focusing on what’s physical and temporary. Pay attention to things that are eternal.
Psalm 42:1 NIV
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
Songs of praise are able to teach and give us wisdom.
In the Old Testament time, there was a man, named Korah. He led the Israelites to rebel against Moses and they were punished by God. But some of his descendants were spared from the punishment. The descendants of this rebel were transformed into worshipers. If the descendants of Korah could receive forgiveness and be changed, so could we.
Psalm 42:1 NIV
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
Deer is not a predator, but a prey. A deer would stoop down to drink from the river despite the risk of an attack from its predators. The thirst here becomes its priority. This kind of attitude is needed by our soul: we need Jesus. Maybe we are being chased after by the enemy and life’s problems. But never fail to stop and drink “the water” from God’s presence.
We might be in danger and panic, as if we are running out of time because every minute is needed to think of a solution according to our flesh desire. But we must not forget to build the altar of prayer and worship in our daily lives. Worshiping God is not God's need, but ours.
If we don’t worship, our souls will experience dryness. When we worship, we receive His love, wisdom, comfort, and our spirits will be refreshed. Even though we haven’t received anything yet, but a changed in our life is the beginning of victory.
Psalm 42:2 NIV
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Men need water to live, while their spirits need God in order to live. If we live this life without prayer for too long and without reading the scripture or having a fellowship with God, a part of our heart will surely die.
We can’t live far away from God. Apart from Him, we can’t do anything. Following God must be done from a close proximity and not from a distant. Let’s come closer to Him, because there is a part in your soul that can only be filled by Jesus.
Psalm 42:3 NIV
My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
The Psalmist was depressed, and people taunted him as if he was forsaken by God. The world seems to attack us from all sides, thus we need to deliberately strengthen our spirits by seeking for God.
Psalm 42:5 NIV
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
The Psalmist was heartbroken, painfully recalling memories of his glorious past. Maybe we remember our past heyday and we can’t do anything to revive it because of the situation.
Let go of your past. God is going to do something new to us. Surrender all to God. The Lord gave and He has taken away, may His name be praised.
Psalm 42:5 NIV
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
The Psalmist took an action to fight his depression by speaking to himself. Our soul needs positive constructive words from our mouth. Put your hope in God!
Our soul will be peaceful if we can speak these things wholeheartedly:
1. Even if God has not helped me, You are still my God.
2. You are my God, You will surely help me.
Excerpted from Ps. Philip Mantofa's sermon, 2 January 2021, Instagram and Youtube Live