Life often doesn’t go the way we plan. As a matter of fact, life throws a mean curve-ball. Days start in one direction and then with little or no warning go sideways. Put a few of them together and it can get a little discouraging and become quite frustrating. Times like these often begin to raise questions of self-doubt. We have thoughts like:
- Why aren’t things going my way?
- What did I do to deserve this?
- Why aren’t I more successful?
- Doesn’t God love me anymore?
When things aren’t going well or others aren’t treating us in an encouraging & uplifting way we need to decide what it is we really need to improve our quality of life. What will genuinely make our life better, not just make us feel better for a little while. In other words, what is our deepest need or desire?
I would suggest that our deepest desire is to be valued by another; to be loved unconditionally by someone else. Let’s take a look at Psalm 43 to see what David wanted from God.
- David wanted to be declared innocent by God. He also wanted God to defend him, to contend for him – to fight on his behalf. He also wanted God to deliver him from peril, to rescue him.
- David moves on to express his feelings of abandonment. He is so dependent on God and ONLY God that he wants God to desire him and at the moment he feels as though God has hung him out to dry.
- David needs God’s light to shine really bright to direct him back to God. He really needs to be sure God hasn’t forgotten him. Following God’s light is always the right way to travel the path of Life.
- David is delighted with God and wants to sing his praises. He really hopes the feeling is mutual. David even goes so far as to say that the very source of his joy is God. It’s a great place to be because it is a fountain that will never run dry.
- David comes full circle in verse five by questioning why he is discouraged. He knows he shouldn’t be and that he needs to return to what he knows is true. He determines to be delighted with God and make praise the sound track of his life.
If your greatest need is God then it can be filled all the time, regardless of our actions or attitudes. God unconditionally loves us. Consider this quote from Brennan Manning.
At the risk of sounding like a country cracker cowboy preacher, allow me to raise some intimate, personal questions about your relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. Do you live each day in the blessed assurance that you have been saved by the unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? After falling flat on your face, are you still firmly convinced that the fundamental structure of reality is not works but grace? Are you moody and melancholy because you are still striving for the perfection that comes from your own efforts and not from faith in Jesus Christ? Are you shocked and horrified when you fail? Are you really aware that you don’t have to change, grow, or be good to be loved?