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The Help of My Countenance

February 16, 2019


The Help of My Countenance

The look on our faces — our countenance — tells a lot  about our feelings.     People even specialize  in studying the body language  of people,  because many of our slightest movements  reveal our true feelings.     Our countenance can change quickly  as we react  to our current circumstances.     When we are feeling particularly  down,  it is such a relief   to receive a welcomed change  of circumstances.     Then our countenance definitely brightens  and our facial expressions  show wonderful changes.

Psalm 42 was written  during a time of captivity.     The Israelites were really depressed  as their captors mocked them  and taunted all day long,  saying,  “Where is your God?”     (verse 3)     When we have troubling times  that seem to never end,  our countenance will show  our discouragement,  sadness,  and depression.     And,  we might feel  that maybe God has left us.

When the psalmist felt  forgotten by God,  he thought  about his feelings — his countenance — and realized  that his  “feelings”  were not  a reflection  of the truth.     In Psalm 42:11,  he then sings,

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.

Good question.     Why are we so sad and despairing  at times?     Why do we feel so disturbed  in our hearts and minds?     None of those  “feelings”  are facing the truth  about God Almighty.     Our countenance does not have to be  so down  and sad  because God is still God.     He is still our God — He always has been God — and He always will be God Almighty.     There is no other God — never has been — and never will be.

Our God is a God of love,  salvation,  mercy,  and total forgiveness.     When we have to face trials  on this earth,  it is God’s love  disciplining us,  as a loving father  disciplines his dear children.     The discipline  does not last forever.     We are to let God’s discipline  do its intended work  of shaping us  into mature  Christians,  who are strong and joyful  in the true faith,  true hope,  and true love  of God.

Our whole lives  on this earth  are a time  of growing  in faith.     Here we are given opportunity  after opportunity  to learn  with surety  that the forgiveness,  salvation,  and love God gives us  in Jesus Christ,  is a gift  of His grace  and mercy.     We will never be able  to be good enough  to earn  forgiveness  or salvation.     We do need to learn  to humbly  and graciously  accept  God’s gift of salvation  in Jesus Christ.

If we refuse  to humbly accept God’s gift  of total forgiveness,  we will not be allowing our Lord  to be,  The help  of my countenance,  and my God.”     God is the one  who is God — NOT any  of us.     By His almighty power  in Christ,  God forgives all our sins  for Jesus’  sake.     If we audaciously try  to earn forgiveness,  that is no different  from despising the sacrificial suffering and death  of Jesus.     In that case,  we are not  saved  unto eternal life.

If we want our feelings — our countenance — to show a true peace  and happiness,  we need  to let God  be God — and let our Savior  be our Savior.     We are not  to look for anything else  to bring us forgiveness,  salvation,  peace,  or happiness.

When we let God  be God,  He will be  “the help  of my countenance”  and we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  You alone  are my joy  and my salvation,  my Rock  and my sure defense.     Eternal happiness is  in You alone.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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