Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking and pondering about applying the gospel in my life so that I am being transformed to become more like the Lord Jesus in my character, conduct, and convictions. The idea of applying the gospel was running through my mind as I read Psalms 42 and 43 on Wednesday. Psalm 42:5, 11, and Psalm 43:5 are very similar verses. Psalm 43:5 repeats Psalm 42:11 word for word. Please read the Psalm 43:5 version with me:
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.
Through the repetition of those three verses, it seems like Psalms 42 and 43 are connected. They appear to be written at a time when the Sons of Korah are seeking to process some measure of discouragement. In my own life, times of discouragement are when I need the gospel applied to my life. But as a counselor pointed out to me, when we are discouraged or downcast, we allow our souls to talk to us. Functionally, we allow our feelings to take us over. They become the lone message that we hear.
I do not believe the Psalmist is saying to deny our feelings, but I think we are being encouraged to ask our emotions some questions. Instead of simply listening to ourselves, we are told to talk to ourselves. We need to bring the hope and truth of the gospel to our lives. Discouragement will knock at all of our doors. But discouragement should never be the lone voice in our lives. We should hear it, but we must also bring the gospel into the conversation. We need to speak God’s truth to our souls so the distorted parts of our emotions are purged and the helpful parts of our emotions are clarified and turned into tools that refine and renew us. If today or tomorrow you are discouraged, please do not simply sit in your discouragement, rather, please join with me in talking the gospel to our discouragements.