His panic attacks came from two sources.
First, taunts and scoffs hit him like a punch to the gut. Those throwing these verbal missiles did not believe in the Creator God, his Father God, and especially rejected his faith the Messiah. The blasts from unbelievers’ mouths are real and hurtful. “Where is your God?” “Human life is not sacred, it is ok to kill an unborn baby!”
Second, a claustrophobic discouragement and sadness pressed upon him from within. He felt like it would crush him. The onset of loneliness from these internal attacks overwhelmed his faith. “Why has God forgotten me?!” “Oh, why can’t it be like it used to be?”
Who is this guy? Boy he needs help! Sometimes its me. Sometimes its you. In this case it is the Psalmist in Psalm 42.
He struggles in these eleven verses between putting his trust in God and the discouragement of the spiritual battle going on. Read it. Feel the tug of war! The hurt is real! The pain is palpable.
In verses 1 and 2 he compares his desire for God to a deer parched with thirst looking for a cool stream of water.
In verses 3 and 4 he remembers a better day of believers worshipping together compared to his current situation of unbelievers taunting him. Today’s media packed with unbelievers taunt our faith in God. They label holding high standards of morality and ethics as hatred.
In verses 5 and 6 he reminds himself to put his hope in God. He’s encouraged that God is like a mountain from which a river flows.
In verses 7, 8, and 9 he puts his trust in God. The crashing waves of the seashore remind him that God’s unfailing love is constant like those waves. He sings and prays to the one who gives him life. God is his rock.
Yet in verse 9b and 10, he once more reflects on the taunts of the enemy. The attacks are real and discouraging.
But his conclusion is worth the battle! In verse 11 he says:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11 ESV
Why should I stay in such a state of being down and out? Well I don’t have to! Hope in God! Praise Him again and again. He is my salvation. He is my God!
Hope in God. How do I do that? See yourself as a thread used in sewing. See God as a massive rope used to ties ships to a dock. Hoping in God is the act of binding that weak thread into that massive rope. HIS STRENGTH BECOMES YOUR STRENGTH. Weave yourself into God. Hope in Him!
Our Father, thank-you in the midst of spiritual battles we can bind ourselves into You receiving real hope. We are like a weak thread, but You are an unbreakable rope. Today we choose to bind ourselves into You.