On May 18th, we'll be looking at Psalms 42 and 43. These two psalms are filled with human emotion - longing, desire, sadness, depression, anguish, feelings of abandonment, hope, and trust.
The Reformers believed the Psalms provide us with a holistic view of Christian experience on this side of heaven. Calvin called the Psalms "an anatomy of the human soul." To be sure, sadness and depression are not the defining emotions of a Christian's life. Paul wrote, "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). Nevertheless, genuine feelings of depression, sadness, and a sense of abandonment are all emotions we as Christians may experience in this world.
Many Christians today don't know what to think about such feelings. The good news is that God has given us the resources to not only understand but also express these deep struggles in prayer and song. The Psalms are God's resource for dealing with the hardest realities of life. They are also a reminder that we will never experience anything darker or more difficult than what Jesus Christ went through for us.
My hope as we look at Psalms 42 and 43 is that we once again remember the wealth of resources God has given to us in his word.
For more on the psalms and Christian experience, read Carl Trueman's article, What Can Miserable Christians Sing?"