What to Do When Trouble Comes

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 43:5).

Psalm 43 has but five verses, and in those five verses there are four questions which all begin with the same word: “Why?” Sorrow and heaviness through different kinds of trials may prompt the soul to wonder and question. Neglect of spiritual things and disobedience to God may plunge the soul into a state of doubt and despair. Whatever the cause, this psalm tells us what to do when adversity and difficulty come our way. The steps to assurance are clearly marked:

1. Commit yourself to God! “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause…” (Psalm 43:1a).

2. Pray! “O deliver me…” (Psalm 43:1b).

3. Trust! “For thou art the God of my strength…” (Psalm 43:2a).

4. Seek God’s truth and walk in it! “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me…” (Psalm 43:3a).

5. Worship God! “Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God” (Psalm 43:4).

6. Hope! “Hope in God…” (Psalm 43:5b).

Here are six helps to happiness, health, and holiness. “For I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 43:5). Notice, in particular, the thought of worship and trust.

When Job was afflicted and received the terrible news of the death of his ten children, he “worshiped” (Job 1:20b). When David was told of his infant child’s death, he “came into the house of the LORD, and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20). Worship blesses God. It is also one of the healthiest things a person can do when they are sad, fearful, or discouraged.

Trust is the opposite of worry. If we truly trust, we will not worry. We cannot trust and worry at the same time. The cure for worry is found in three simple, monosyllable words: “Hope in God” (Psalm 43:5). This hope we have is “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19a).

Are you cast down today? Do you have to cry out with the psalmist, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” (Psalm 43:5). If so, take God’s remedy in this psalm and claim the promises of God. Then remember, your salvation depends upon His Word — not your feelings.