Out of a section of psalms about being delivered from strife and oppression comes this verse, the refrain of Psalm 42 and 43. Though the speaker of this psalm is beset by enemies, he also knows where his hope should be placed–in God, the only One who has any power to save and protect. This refrain reminds him to keep his faith in God even when his very soul is disturbed and afraid.
As modern Christians, it’s tempting to think that once you’re saved, you should never have any doubts or problems again, that somehow Christians aren’t supposed to have times that try their faith. But the reality is that every Christian will face trials in their daily lives, and some of those trials are frightening, uncertain, and even dangerous. Fright, uncertainty, and danger do not exactly bolster our faith, especially not in a world that tells us we ought to be emotionally self-sufficient anyway and not “bother anyone” by talking about our troubles.
This verse, this refrain, shows us that even the most Godly of people (like the writers of this psalm) needed an occasional reminder–a reset button, if you will–that God was with them, that God had it all under control. To admit that you need God to still your worries and revive your faith does not mean you’ve lost your salvation; in fact, in that most humbling of moments, you are closer to God than ever, willing to trust Him completely. When we try to struggle on without God, we will inevitably falter, but when we “put our hope in God” in the scariest moments, we reset our faith and regain the serenity we need.