Longing for God’s Justice

Open Your Bible

Psalm 42:1-11, Psalm 43:1-5, Psalm 44:1-26

Book II

The collection of psalms in Book II express lament and distress about present circumstances and conditions while looking to the faithfulness of God.

Something about this season of life has made me hyper-aware of how unsatisfying and broken this world is. Maybe this is my version of a quarter-life crisis? Whatever the reason, I’m left to reconcile the fact that there are no do-overs on the way brokenness has drastically impacted my life. Some of the brokenness is mine. But some of it is not, and that’s harder for me to sit with, knowing there’s nothing I can do to undo it. Thankfully, I’m not alone in this frustration; I see it written all over today’s psalms.

These psalms mark the beginning of Book II. Like Book I, these psalms express distress about present circumstances while looking to the faithfulness of God. These psalms primarily use the name Elohim, which is translated as “God” in most English Bibles and demonstrates His unmatched power and majesty. It’s this very name the authors—familiar ones like David and less familiar ones like temple keepers and singers—call on amid their distress, the One they know to be stronger than any enemy or circumstance they face. 

Each psalm from today echoes the same cry: the desire for God’s presence and justice amid sorrowful, frustrating circumstances out of their control. In Psalm 42–43 we see it on an individual level, and in Psalm 44, a national level. We aren’t given the details of their circumstances, but we are given the details of the desire and cry of their heart.

In the first verse, we see a longing for God’s presence: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God” (Psalm 42:1). It’s interesting to me that this is the first request. The psalmist’s priority in addressing God is not that God would right his circumstances but that God would give him His presence. Oh, that my prayer would be the same, longing for God more than I long for Him to right all that is wrong in my life. 

As much as I learn from and long to be like the psalmist, I relate to him too as I see his frustration quickly surface. 

Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God…

Just like this psalmist, I’m experiencing this broken world with a mind not yet completely sanctified. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t convince my mind and heart to align with what I know is true. In a way, the psalmist appears comfortable with this tension, repeating it over and over again. The psalmist knows God’s presence is what’s best, the best place to desire and the best place to be in. So, why is he so sad and hopeless? Instead of trying to resolve the tension, he just starts talking to himself. The psalmist is calling himself to hope, even though his feelings haven’t quite caught up. 

The injustices around us may not be made right on this side of eternity. But, we can grieve and get to work amid the seemingly never-ending weight of brokenness, all while dwelling in the hope we experience in God’s presence. 

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58 thoughts on "Longing for God’s Justice"

  1. Hannah says:

    Lord, help me to desire and long for your presence over your all other things. There is peace in your presence that calms my mind and quiets my soul. In the midst of brokenness, may I be an ambassador of your goodness and your love, Lord.

  2. Jill Navarro says:

    Comforting to know even the psalmist struggles with having complete faith in God. Just like the psalmist my mind knows God is in control but my heart still fears. In each Situation God shows me he is in control, and yet my heart is still not completely at peace..

  3. Sierra May says:

    Even though I may not have control over the distress in the world and distress around me, I can remain hopeful in God. Also, requesting his presence over fixing the situation sounds good. Some hard circumstances happen to teach lessons. Sometimes bad circumstances bring the best out of people.

  4. Rebecca Woodall says:

    Hannah Little, I believe what you’re experiencing is not a ‘season of life’ but instead a restlessness that The Holy Spirit is putting in the hearts of believers – a ‘great awakening’ of the last days. We are foreigners in this world. It is NOT our home and as we see it becoming more twisted each day, that only reenforces the longing in our hearts to be HOME with our Lord. Even so come Lord Jesus!

  5. Mirna Dirani says:

    Longing for your presence and streams of water to wash my fears and anxiety. Longing for your streams of water to water and soften my heart to be able to feel yours towards my and others.

  6. chiquieta Russell says:


  7. Gabriella Valentin says:

    These past few years have been many highs and many lows I loved todays message because I need to call onto god to ask for his presence, nothing might not work out right now but I know god is near I just need to call on him not fix it but to help me through my own emotions and to lean on him.

  8. Kimberly Martinson says:

    I appreciate the idea of just starting to talk to yourself instead of trying to resolve a tension.

  9. Heather Noble says:

    “My prayer is to long for God more than I long for Him to right all that is wrong in my life.” Amen and Amen!

  10. Kirstin van Gend says:

    Really nice straight talk on living in the broken world while living in the Hope of Christ. ❤️

  11. Hills S says:

    Thank you ♥️

  12. Lehua K. says:

    This is a bit late, but I accidentally left these in my phone’s journal instead of copying it right away… It’s one of those days lol.

    @Taylor: Prayed for smooth travels for you, and getting through TSA especially

    @Linda: Praying for your situation, for both you and your husband

  13. Kimberly Z says:

    Praying for you Ashleigh H., Linda and Taylor I hope you made it the airport in time.

    Mercy I loved what you had to say about God being on time. That is so true and I wished I believed it more. As I’ve said a 100 times my life right now isn’t exactly how I saw it going as I watch so many of my friends in different seasons of life than me and it makes me sad. I struggle to understand Gods will for me when I am not at peace with my life. When things are going how I want them too it’s so easy to feel God’s love for me. I pray that I can find that inner peace with God even though my life isn’t exactly how I want it to be.

  14. Kimberly Z says:

    Praying for you Ashleigh H., Linda and Taylor I hope you made it the airport in time.

  15. Julia Hagen says:


  16. Andrea Doss says:

    The difference in Book 1 of Psalms and today is very stark!

  17. Victoria E says:

    Ashleigh H- praying for you still.

  18. Victoria E says:

    Lisa M I love your comment ! That was one of my verses I clung to (there were many) during my fertility treatments last year and I still repeat it often. Traci Gendron nice to “see” you here.

  19. Mercy says:

    Reading today’s palms (usually poetic praises but not today), my heart sunk as these lines described a dark time of couple years I went through and still trying to recover. And it’s comforting that we are not unique in our sufferings. My soul, why are you so disquieted within me, why are you so cast down? I read a quote from CS Lewis yesterday, “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” When you get a little quiet, who would check on you? Those are the ones you should keep in your inner circle. It’s a strange conversation the psalmist talked to his soul and told it to put the hope in the Lord, when God seemed so far (I will say to my God why has thou forgotten me? Psalm 42:9). There are moments that it seems like He has forgotten the cry. BUT I will tell my soul to hope and hope in the Lord. Though the Lord was 4 days late coming to Bethany to help Lazarus, He was still on time by His schedule. God is on time, before, now, and forever, and He will make everything beautiful in its time. Tell your soul to hope in God. For I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God (Psalm 42:11). May God strengthen the health of your countenance in spite of distress. Be blessed dear sisters.

  20. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I want to live in a place where my feelings don’t dictate what I believe. I want God’s truth to dictate what I believe. I pray that I would rest in his truth even when my feelings don’t match up. ❤️

  21. Dorothy says:

    WOW!!! Going from positivity to negativity in the Psalms just throws me for a loop. It reminds me of my emotions and how they change. God’s emotions change too, yes I believe He has emotions, after all we are made in His image. Lately, my emotions have been all over the place. This study is really helping me.

    Sisters, be blessed and remember it’s okay to show your emotions.

  22. PamC says:

    I noticed that Psalms 42 & 43 ended the same…”Put your Hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43 has been one I have turned to often in troubled times. Hannah, thank you. Tina, beautiful. Everyone who commented thanks. Praying through the requests. Linda we are so close in situation. Praying for the Lord’s leading.
    Hugs & love to all.

  23. Lehua K. says:

    I needed to read these today due to some circumstances that have surfaced with the company I work for. It’s refreshing to see how honest these psalmists are, some of them are pouring their heart out to God openly and it shows through their words. It comforts me to know I can pray like this to God too! I can cry out for justice for my coworkers and know God is not only listening, but working toward our good and His glory. Hallelujah! I also love how the psalmists, although deeply troubled by their circumstances, turn their focus to God and crying out for His presence. I pray for God’s presence and the peace that comes with that… I pray for the patience and joy that comes from trusting His plan and understanding He’s there with me (and for me)! Amen!

  24. Linda says:

    Thank you, Lanie!

  25. Donna Wolcott says:

    Welcome all new sisters! Thank you each who shared this morning and prayers for spoken and unspoken needs,

  26. Diane Richardson says:

    Linda, know that you are being prayed for this morning. God is good and he will provide. Say it. Believe it. Trust Him to be with you. Sing that little song all day long, ‘He’s able, he’s able, I know He’s able, I know my Lord is able to carry me through.”

  27. Cindy Hanna says:

    Some mornings I find myself just sitting and staring out the window mulling over the scriptures I’ve just read looking for touch points to anchor to my heart for further contemplation throughout the day. This is one of those mornings. The deep longing for God’s presence and questions of “Why God?” “Where are you God” sends echoes of similar questioning in my own past. I was particularly curious about the psalmist claims that the nation had faithfully kept covenant with God. Hmm. Selective memory loss?? How often do I put forward an exaggerated narrative of worth in my own pleadings before God? Thankfully God is merciful and patient with me.

  28. Mia Faith says:

    The Psalms – especially the laments brought me through when my son died. Knowing I could talk with God – honestly – changed and continues to change everything. My heart is still broken, but I know I can tell God all about it.

  29. Lisa M. says:

    My husband always jokes that you can tell how good a sermon is by how many notes I take. Today I got a full notebook page from both the She devotion and He devotion. Side note: I read both so I can have a conversation with my husband about our take-away points if he chooses to bring it up. Lest you think we are all that…this happens maybe 2% of the time, but my life motto is “be prepared” so, you know.
    The thing I’ll be meditating on today is Psalm 42:5, “Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will STILL praise Him, my Savior and my God.” This is what to do when my feelings haven’t caught up to my faith, or as Annie F. Downs says, when my feelings are trying to drive instead of ride.
    This is me dipping my little toe into the frigid waters of being social on the internet after several years of avoiding it.

  30. Traci Gendron says:

    My story is long. God was there as I was searching. He never left my side.

    I was 27 when my son was diagnosed with a rare disease. Only 2,000 cases in the world. I was scared, depressed, not knowing how to get through this. But God was there waiting for me to seek His face.

    I ended up a single mother and dated a few that were really bad for me. I found BSF and studied the Bible for 7 years. My son was in a christian school. I was so down and sad going through the motions of life as I took care of my son. It was a lot. Working, medical appointments, 2 kidney transplants of one I was the donor, trying to make a living. God was faithful.

    God blessed me with my son for 33 years. He pulled me closer and closer to Him as I knew Tanner was dying. He NEVER left my side. He stays near as we go through hardships in this world. My relationship with my Father has only become stronger through these trials. And that I can say I am truly thankful.

  31. jill santanello says:

    I had a few resonate today but specifically this one stuck out
    “Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against ungodly people from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me.” ❤️

  32. jill santanello says:

    I had a few resonate today but specifically this one stuck out

  33. jill santanello says:

    I had a few resonate today…

  34. jill santanello says:

    Thank you Kelly! So excited to be here ❤️

  35. Ashleigh H says:

    So grateful for the Psalms in the midst of a broken world and a feeling of be

  36. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    In reading Psalm 44, I didn’t quite expect it to end the way it did. It starts out with the psalmist recalling all that God had done for His people, giving God the glory, praising Him for the victories He gave. But then it changes tone – now the writer is recalling all the harsh things that have happened to to God’s people: they have been rejected and humbled, plundered, devoured like sheep, scattered, sold made a reproach, scorned, disgraced – all while they remembered God, kept His covenant and had not strayed! This is one of those times when God just doesn’t seem to make sense. We “do everything right” and still – bad things happen. That’s when I’m reminded that God’s ways are not ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9) That His ways are perfect, (Psalm 18:30) and all things work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28) Sometimes these truths are hard to accept, but through it all we are brought closer to the God who has redeemed us, to the God of unfailing love, and for that we can not help but continue to hope in Him, trust Him, and praise our Savior and God. (Psalm 43:5)

    Praying for all of your requests – may God give peace, strength and wisdom for every hard circumstance, for every loss and decision to be made, and safe travels to those on the roads.

    Blessings to you all sweet sisters, and welcome to all the newcomers!

  37. Maria Goodwin says:

    I find it hard to read the psalms and not hear all the songs that were inspired by them. Today’s reading reminded me of a beautiful musical interpretation of Psalm 42. Reading the psalm, the repetitive literally device in vs. 3/5 and 10/11 then refrain is repeated again in chapter 43:5. If music helps the psalms come alive for you too- give a listen to the song ‘Psalm 42’ by Jonathan & Emily Martin.


  38. Maria Goodwin says:

    I find it hard to read the psalms and not hear all the songs that were inspired by them. Today’s reading reminded me of a beautiful musical interpretation of Psalm 42. Reading the psalm and noting the literally device in vs. 3/5 and 10/11 then refrain is repeated again in chapter 43:5. If music helps the psalms come alive for you too- give a listen to the song ‘Psalm 42’ by Jonathan & Emily Martin. https://open.spotify.com/track/7jdQZ1yLeTPddJ4PvOseTx?si=7_ENdhKeSV6i-aGnazzLkQ

  39. Erica Chiarelli says:

    I’m so thankful God doesnt get angry with us when we are upset with Him. He doesn’t throw a fit when we question something. He knows we are but dust and He loves us. He welcomes our anxieties and calms our fears…He gives us peace. So we can hope in Him when things grow difficult! He is always available, always with us! He doesnt sleep or slumber! He is good!

  40. Sarah M says:

    New to She Reads Truth, enjoying it so far! Had the pleasure of listening to the podcast on a walk this morning and really appreciated the acknowledgment that the psalms hits each of us in different ways. I often think I’m not “getting it” and I really appreciated this acknowledgment that there isn’t a right way to get it! Take what speaks for you!

  41. Susan Lincks says:

    God, I long to drink at Your pool.

  42. Lanie says:

    I am an occupational therapist working with the geriatric population. I have quite a few patients with progressive diseases that yearn to go home. These psalms helped me feel their pain. Linda praying specifically for you. I know how hard caregiving can be for someone with dementia and how important staying in your environment is. I pray that you will have someone come and walk beside you at this time to help you. I work for fox rehab, and OT, PT, and ST can be great support in the home, and we are all over! I love Teepa Snow for dementia caregiving resources and Dave Ramsey for financial resources. I hope that helps!

  43. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    Psalm 42 opens with a deep longing for God. Like a deer pants for water, longing for flowing streams. I dare to say the rememberance of how God satisfies my thirst is sweeter than the quenching. When I taste and see that He is good, the moment passes. I become thirsty again. But when I spend time remembering and meditating on God’s faithful love, my soul is swept over by the billows of His presence. “Deep calls to deep at the roar of Your waterfalls” (Psalm 42:7). Even in distress, I know He is with me by day, and “His song is with me in the night” (v. 8). It is through the holy taste of Christ, His saving grace, and the longing for His sweet and precious love that is the most nourishing food for my soul. Because He is faithful. He came for me. And He will return to bring me home with Him one day. So I live by faith, I long for Him, and He comes here and now bringing comfort and peace. Father God, let my life testify this truth and draw others to You. Selah. Maranatha. Amen.

  44. Lisa Semoy says:


  45. TIna says:

    When my heart was broken, and my life change forever.. I looked to God.
    I looked to Him for help, answers, anything that would relieve my heart from the ache that consumed my life and days..
    I wailed. I yelled. I questioned. I shouted and accused the one, the only one who could hold my heart and make it know peace.. the only one, who absolutely and totally knew my heart.. yet still…

    BUT GOD..

    The gentleness came. The loving arms were felt. The caring wonderful, NEVER EVER changing God shone through my pain, my broken-heartedness. He listened to my rants, my throwing of arms, thumping of my feet and accusations until I was exhausted, then, and only then, did the One, the True God, The Almighty, The One who loves beyond love, show Himself..
    My heart was broken beyond repair this side of heaven..

    BUT GOD..

    He repaired it to a fully functioning and able to love heart, that holds the memory of what was lost, and yet holds the hope that one day sooooooooooooon, there will be a celebration in heaven when I am reunited with my loved one..

    For now, knowing what I know and having experienced God’s goodness, grace and mercy, daily I cling to him, daily I learn more of Him who has filled my heart, soul and mind with Hope…

    Thank you Lord God, Thank you..


    Hugs and love, always wrapped in prayers for a good and wonderfully blessed day to all..❤

  46. Taylor says:

    The first line of today’s devotion reminded me of the first line of my comment yesterday. I think Hannah and I are in our quarter life crises lol. I think in this season I am learning that nothing truly satisfies like the Lord’s Presence. Not money, or relationships, or my job, or even travelling brings me the peace and hope that spending time in God’s presence does. I echo the prayer of the psalmists and others here that I would long for God’s presence more than I would long for him to fix things.

    Quick prayer request: I’m flying to Michigan tonight at 6:30pm and I work until 4pm today. It’ll take me about 45 minutes to get to the airport. I’m going to be cutting it close but if you could please pray for smooth travels I would appreciate it <3

  47. Linda says:

    These Psalms particularly are resonating with me. Prayers are very much appreciated. I’m in an emotionally difficult time right now. Dealing with retirement income that won’t change. Being priced out of our apartment with ever increasing inflation. Seeking where the Lord would have us move. Any change in situations is very difficult for my husband with dementia. I am also facing a health challenge which demands hard decisions. There are times, like the psalmist, I cry “God where are You”. I must focus on who He has shown Himself to be in the past and trust He has a good, good plan because He is a good, good God

  48. Searching says:

    My MIL always read her Bible out loud and that came to mind this morning – it changed the experience for me today and I’m adding that to my devotion time.

    So good to see old and new sisters here! Still missing many – thinking of you CHURCHMOUSE and ERB. Praying for the spoken and unspoken requests – God hears them all.

  49. Dyan Yoder says:

    Amen and Amen.

  50. Aimee D-R says:

    Oh Father forgive my doubt, reward my faith! In Jesus name. Amen

  51. Kenya Rafferty says:

    To remember that it’s not about God fixing things and making them perfect but about Gods presence and His constant, insistent love. Sometimes we can’t feel it and it’s hard. It’s dark. It’s exhausting. Sometimes the brokenness of the world wraps around us and it feels hard to seek Him. But He is never gone. He doesn’t abandon us. He tests us and tries us and makes us stronger but if we stay to the course, He will prove Himself over and over again with simply just His presence.

  52. Angie Mills says:

    When we face unjust circumstances, we usually respond by:
    -Longing for God (PS 42)
    -Crying out for vindication (PS 43)
    -Complaining that we are being rejected by God (PS 44)

    I love how the psalmists in these chapters speak to themselves and the people of Israel singing these songs. As they pour out their emotions to God, they also remind themselves of the truth of who God is and what He does.

    Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5
    Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
    Why are you in such turmoil?
    Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
    My Savior and my God.

    Psalm 44:4-8
    You are my King, my God,
    Who ordains victories for Jacob.
    Through You we Drive back our foes;
    Through Your name we trample our enemies.
    For I do not trust in my bow,
    And my sword does not bring me victory.
    But You give us victory over our foes and let those who hate us be disgraced.
    We boast in God all day long;
    We will praise Your name forever. [Selah]

  53. Stormi Messmer says:


  54. Hills S says:

    I really want to be a stay at home mom. All of my friends stay home and I work. Sometimes I get sad/mad/frustrated/jealous. I can be caught pleading for God to “rescue” me by making a way for me to stay home. I love the challenge to call yourself to seek the Lord and his presence over everything else. My “feelings” will catch up as I seek his face. Place my trust in him and know that he has a plan and purpose for this season of my life.

  55. Mary Harker says:


  56. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Kailhla, Rosa, and Jill, welcome!

    Like Hannah, “Oh, that my prayer would be the same, longing for God more than I long for Him to right all that is wrong in my life.”

    From HRT, “God’s faithful love is our hope…in the face of injustice. It is how we can avoid outrage, and as we yearn and strive for justice.”

  57. Jo says:

    Reading this today made me think of Job: “though He slay me yet will I trust Him” (13:15). This attitude of heart will provide Job (and us) with the victory. It would seem that God is withdrawing His hand (Job 13:20) and yet like a child learns to walk God allows us to take those steps to build our faith but He us quick to respond if we stumble so that we don’t fall. In all the injustice we see around us we need to take those steps of faith knowing that His hand is our “very present help” (Ps 46:1)

  58. Dana says:

    Hannah! You spoke right to my heart! Wonderful teaching!

    Also, I could not keep from being so moved and getting choked up when reading:

    “11 Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
    Why are you in such turmoil?
    Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,
    my Savior and my God.”

    There is no other thing as important as putting our hope in Him and praising Him. We just can’t forget that. Amen!