Full of Hope: Encouraging One Another with the Word of God

Ep. 6: Reminding Ourselves We Have a Future Hope

March 28, 2020

Topic: Encouragement Passage: Psalms 42–43

Hello, Hope Fellowship! Welcome to our podcast “Full of Hope: Encouraging One Another with the Word of God,” where we seek to regularly equip the people of Hope Fellowship with truth from Scripture in order to help us cling to our Savior during troubled times. 

Over the last couple of podcasts we looked at Psalms 42 and 43 and the way in which the psalmist speaks truth to himself when he is discouraged. We thought about, from the beginning of the Psalm, how reminding our hearts that we have once been satisfied in God helps to take our eyes off of our present circumstances and put them where our true hope resides: in God himself. We also considered how this truth we remind ourselves of must be specific. 

Today, let’s see how the psalmist speaks truth to himself and how we need to remind our own hearts. 

Self, trust by faith that in the future your longing for God will be fully satisfied. 

Here is the reality of living in a fallen world: we will always have discouragement by our side, threatening to push us away from God. When we sing praise, sometimes that praise will be sung softly and through tears. When we hear of the goodness of God, it will be through ears that are still ringing with accusations from those who hate God and who have rejected us. 

Like we said on our last podcast, we are tempted to say to ourselves when we are discouraged, “I will never be happy again.” 

One morning a few years back I heard and then saw a hot air balloon fly low over our house. Somewhat normal where I grew up in Ohio—not so much for the western suburbs. It reminded me that if you saw a balloon on the ground, without the air and a basket attached to it, you would wonder how that thing could ever get off the ground. But when the air is heated, it slowly begins to fill and rise. 

It’s almost as if the psalmist, in his discouragement, is looking at the basket on the ground and is discouraged—but he has hope that he will rise. There is a note of future hope throughout Psalm 42 and at the end of Psalm 43 with each refrain that ends “for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” There is a future element to this speaking to himself: even if he doesn’t enjoy that goodness now, he is trusting that he will again enjoy God. 

Where is this future-faith rooted? In the present goodness of God and in his promise that he will never change and will satisfy his people with the promise of his presence. Psalm 30 says, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” 

Think back a few months. We were making plans for April and May and June, with not even a hint that we would have to change those plans. But now here we are, and it’s easy to wonder if we will again have the optimistic hope we once enjoyed. 

But here’s the important thing to remember: our hope isn’t simply that things will go back to the way they were, but that on good or bad days, in pain or discouragement or joy and plenty, goodness and satisfaction come only from God. 

When we are discouraged, on some level there is something we are either forgetting about God or about his goodness to us in Christ. We need to remind ourselves where we have hope. Our future hope comes in the present reality of who God is. 

Laments in the Psalms typically end with a note of hope. We need constant infusions of hope in order to keep us afloat in a sinful world where we know and experience pain. We can so easily forget to be looking for the future hope that is available to us. 

The psalmist prays and reminds himself of the future hope that will come: 

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

God has sent out his light and his truth. Jesus said in John 8:12, 

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

And in John 14:6, 

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

God has sent out his light and truth in Jesus. Now we can say with the psalmist, “God is my exceeding joy” because we have been made his child. The darkness of Good Friday gave way to the Light of the empty tomb on Easter Sunday! And we can know, one day, the resurrection of Easter Sunday will be our complete, exceeding joy when we see him face to face. 

See you next time. Remember, we have hope in Christ. Let’s encourage ourselves with this hope by speaking truth to ourselves and by making that hope known in a struggling world. 

Music by Joseph McDade. https://josephmcdade.com. Used with permission.

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