The Bible often recognizes self-talk, letting us in to see the inner narrative of one of the heroes of the faith. We are all involved in an ongoing dialogue with ourselves. This psalm eavesdrops on the kind of self-talk that is standard.

We will all, at some time, experience despair. When we do, we need to ask our soul a pointed question: “Why are you in despair?”

When we enter the valleys of life, our emotions can go into hyperdrive. Our thoughts can swirl. We can imagine the worst. We feel out of control, confused, frustrated. We are uncertain.

But there is a way out. And it involves self-talk. We need to bring our emotion-laden soul into reality.

The reality is that God is still in control. Nothing happens that He did not authorize. There is no test He allows into our lives without ample provision to withstand.

As hard as this is, it is an opportunity. A unique opportunity to praise God notwithstanding the circumstances that led us to despair in the first place. Circumstances will always fail us. Our true hope is in God. And sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this truth.

“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”
– Psalm 42:11