In Hard Times Thirst For God
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV
David experienced many hard times in his life and in those times he had a definite course of action that we would do well to learn from. There is not one of us that had not faced hard times and in this fallen world we know that we will face them again. How you respond in those moments dictates how well you will come through those times.
David understood that just like the deer requires waters, so in this life he required God. As necessary as water was to the deer’s daily survival, so is the Lord necessary for our daily ability to survive this life. It is not uncommon in hard times to wonder where the Lord is. In this uncertainty we often make the crucial mistake of turning away from Jesus.
If you want to get out of those low times of life and experience the overcoming highs, then follow the example of David and thirst for God. Jesus Himself said in John 7:37, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” This is exactly what we see David in dry seasons of life. In those times of struggle when you wonder where Jesus is, when you feel spiritually dry even in your very soul, thirst for Him. As the deer needs water to live, so do you and I need Jesus to live and overcome the hard times in this life? Never lose your thirst for Him and you will never be disappointed.
I know it is easy to say, “I can’t help how I feel”. And in those dry seasons it is difficult to feel a thirst for Him. We are told that we cannot change how we feel and so we accept the discouragement and even the depression in life, as a normal reaction. Well, it may be normal but it will only leave you defeated, and like a deer without water it is difficult to live our lives. The reality is that you do not have to give in to how you feel. Realize that like David that in those dry times your soul is thirsting for and requires the Lord. So even though you don’t feel like turning to Him, decide to thirst for Him.
You control your feelings, they do not control you. A few verses further in Psalm 42, David speaks to his own soul saying “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” He was speaking to his soul and telling himself that eventually he is going to rejoice in the Lord because God is faithful, so he may as well rejoice now, even before seeing it done. David chose to not yield to his feelings but to seek God like the water of life to a deer.
You do not have to yield to your emotions or feelings in those dry times. When your emotions say “give up and accept defeat”, speak to your soul. Command your soul to respond to your praises for Jesus as you thirst for Him in faith and confidence. You need Jesus just as you need water to live. Thirst for Him even in dry times when your emotions tell you something different.
J Todd Hostetler