“These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
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.”
When David wrote this psalm, he was in a desperate situation. He longed to be in God’s presence, but felt forgotten and alone. His enemies were taunting him and made his suffering even worse by asking him, “Where is your God?” David did not have the answers. He himself was confused and desperate. But he did have his memories of joyful celebrations in God’s house. These memories gave him hope that his situation would change for the better and that he would praise the Lord again. They reminded him that God was his salvation. David had ample reason to stop being dejected and troubled.
When our present situation is difficult, it is helpful to look back and to look forward. Looking back reminds us of God’s goodness that we have experienced in the past — which, contrary to the common saying, does “guarantee future results”, since the Lord has not changed. Looking forward reminds us of the great future God has in store for us. This expanded horizon helps to put our present hardships in perspective.
Which memories help you to renew your hope?