Fighting for Joy: Psalm 42

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him. My salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you…”  Psalm 42:5

In our Christian walk, we will always be fighting for joy in Christ. And what I mean by that is that there are many competing desires within us and around us: our own flesh and the brokenness of sin in this world. These things will test our joy in God. We often refer to these fighting times as “valleys” or “seasons of darkness.” It looks different for all of us…you might be fighting to see God as more satisfying than your sin…or you might be fighting against discontentment or apathy, or maybe you’re going through a financial hardship, a medical condition, or a loss in your life—whatever it may be, we all have our different fights for joy in the Lord.

One of the reasons I love the Psalms is because they are so relatable. You see so much human emotion within this book. And in this chapter, the Psalmist is reflecting on a time when he was once joyful and leading others to worship (vs. 4). But he is now depressed, discouraged, and sorrowful. He is preaching to his own soul to remember the goodness and satisfaction found in God. He is literally telling himself to “hope in God; for I shall again praise him…” (vs. 5). This takes faith, to say in the midst of darkness, in the middle of the valley where your circumstances aren’t joyful—“I will hope in God.”

So I would encourage you—if you are in a valley, or in a season of life that is depressing or tinged with sorrow, to keep preaching to yourself of the goodness of God. Fight for joy in the Lord.

Can you think of a time when you had to fight for your joy in the Lord? How did you see His faithfulness during that time in your life?

About the Author
Amber Blais and her husband Eric have been attending and serving at Gospel Community Church since 2013. They have just returned from serving overseas in England. They have been married for 6 years and are excited to welcome their first baby in April 2020!

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