Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalm 42 and Romans 8

Deep calls to deep at the sound of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have rolled over me (Psalm 42:7, ESV).

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26, ESV).

Read Psalm 42 and then Romans 8. Psalm 42 is shorter at only 11 verses, while Romans 8 lasts for 39 verses. However, both chapters parallel one another in the theme of identity, worship, and hope.

They should be read together!

I’ve struggled through the years to understand the phrase “deep calls to deep” in Psalm 42, and the phrase “the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Both indicate a deep work of God in our lives during tribulation – often a work of which we are not aware nor do we understand.

But our faith in times of despair is in a God who has eternal perspective in His inner dealings with the depth of our soul and spirit, and we must trust Him.

As Romans 8 says …

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

And Psalm 42 reflects …

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 (Psalm 42:5).

Both chapters deal with disillusionment and challenge us to press into faith when our world is upended and others betray us. Psalm 42 focuses on worship, while Romans 8 says that we are safe!

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God (Psalm 42:11).

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39).

As I’ve read both chapters, I realized that Romans 8:1-2 is the ultimate reason for Psalm 42:1-2 … 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:1-2).

The beginning of Romans 8 should be our reason for accepting Jesus, as there will be no more condemnation! Our despair and frustration lead us to condemnation – if we can’t forgive ourselves, then we can’t forgive others.

Psalm 42:1-2 should be our conclusion during trials as we “thirst for God.” We want to go deeper than our despair – than blaming ourselves, others, or God. As one saint said, “No pit is deeper than God is deeper still.” 

When our depth of faith allows hope and joy in all situations, we want to drink deeply of His healing water of life!

Let’s ask ourselves now what the Psalmist asks …

Why is our soul cast down, why are we in turmoil? (Psalm 42:11)

Remember Romans 8 …

For we consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).


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