Suffering: Week 1 - Devotion 1

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” - Psalm 42:1

Have you ever been so thirsty that your mouth feels like it is filled with cotton? What a gross feeling! The only thing that will quench that kind of thirst is a big glass of water. Imagine if you were that thirsty but couldn’t find water. What a miserable experience that would be! 

Now read Psalm 42:1-11. The Psalmist begins by describing a deer panting, searching for streams of water. He uses this image to describe his great need for God. He is bummed out and feeling separated from God. 

How does the psalmist say his friends responded? Job had a similar experience. If you recall, Job’s friends and his wife all tell him to give up on God. They blame God and suggest that Job turn his back on the one they believe responsible. However, Job continued to remain faithful to God. In the end, after all of the suffering, Job received God’s goodness. 

The psalmist and Job did two similar things. First, they admitted their pain. They willingly admitted that they didn’t understand and felt like God had left them. Second, they both chose to trust God anyway. In their moments of desperation, like the deer in verse one, they knew the peace and hope God offered would be the only answer to what they needed. It all came down to a choice. 


Think about this:

  • Which choice will you make when you find yourself suffering?

  • Will you turn away from God in anger or trust Him with faith?

Emily Traylor