Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (NLT)
Many of us so like the Psalms because they express real human feeling. No pious pretence. No superficial cheeriness. Then again, no utter misery either! The writers of these Psalms were not afraid to declare that things are not as they ought to be. That life sometimes get us down. That God might seem to have gone on holidays.
Sometimes we are overcome by a flat feeling. It may be a result of a particular event or life situation. It may there is no obvious explanation. We just don’t feel the joy of the Lord, we just lack an appetite to praise him. We struggle to shrug off our lethargy and get about loving and serving others. We are just too wrapped up in our own not so healthy skin.
This can, of course, be symptomatic of a depression that might need some specialised help. But it can just be a mood, a heaviness, a greyness. We might find ourselves asking what sort of person of faith we are since we feel like this. The answer being that we are the sort of person of faith that wrote such Psalms as this.
Discouragement and sadness will recur, sometimes frequently if we are of a certain temperament. We are not, as a result, cast aside by God. We hang on, we cling to him. Nothing at all glamorous about that. But it is the essence of the hope mentioned by the Psalmist. Our hope in God is not based on our feelings at the time. It is based on who God is. We can have praise and hope not because our feelings are good but because God is good.