Text: Psalm 42:1-11

Introduction: The Sons of Korah – from the lineage of Levites, the priests, and people who were assigned to the duty of Tabernacle, Temple, and this context accompanying King David during a war. As part of the military, they also offered music and choir for the people of David.

THE BAD NEWS – Three Hardships in this Life.

Verses 1-4: Emptiness – we feel empty, a never-ending void that none can satisfy // the deer pants for flowing water signifies a person who longs to worship God, seek his presence, and his Word // this thirst is quenched through public worship and prayer // he was away and longed for church

Verses 5-8: Depression – Even children of God struggle with anxiety and depression // to the point of being drowned //Though counseling, psychotherapy, and medicines help us overcome depression, it is through God in prayer, singing, and worship that we find complete healing.

Verses 9-11: Rejection – #CancelCulture // they mock my God because of my wounds, pain, and sufferings; remember Job’s wife and friends // They ask for evidence about my God.

Nevertheless, the Choirmaster in verses 5 and 11 (even 43:5), calls us to put our hope in God.

Illustration: When Christian and Pliable fell on the Slough of Despond, Help helped Christian.

THE GOOD NEWS –  John 4:13-14, “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

These Hardships Draw God Near: Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

These Hardships have a Purpose: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

These Hardships have Limitations:  2 Corinthians 4:7-12, “7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Conclusion: Do Not Lose Heart! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

The same composer of this wonderful song wrote the famous line that we sing, entitled “Still.” In Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…”


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | August 20, 2023