April 4, 2024

Why Am I Sad?

Written by Tripp Prince

God is always working for our good.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 4, 2024

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!  Psalm 43:5, NLT

At times, we are deeply aware of the reasons behind our emotions. We are hurt or betrayed and thus understandably angry or frustrated. Perhaps more positively, a relational breakthrough or new job can result in a wave of relief, gratitude, and joy, crashing over us in the most delightful ways. 

However, we often find ourselves in situations where significant emotions may be present, yet their source or sources elude us. Though this can be a positive emotion that catches us by surprise, in my own experience, these elusive emotions are usually sources of pain or potential discouragement. We’re short-tempered and angry with those around us for no explainable reason. We’re pessimistic and doubtful even when we have plenty of reasons to be hopeful and encouraged. Or we’re profoundly sad without any clear reason to grieve. Perhaps, like the psalmist of old, you read these words and say to yourself, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?”

I once heard a wise Christian leader say that the vast majority of our disappointments in life come from unmet expectations. In light of our topic today, it’s important to realize that we often have implicit expectations in our lives that we’ve never consciously acknowledged to ourselves or discussed with others. When we find emotions present within us that seem to have come out of nowhere or lingered longer than we’d ever hoped, it’s helpful to ask yourself a version of this question: “What did I expect this season of life to look like?” 

In C.S. Lewis’ masterful work, Perelandra, there’s a memorable scene in which The Green Lady discusses the difference between “the good expected” and “the given good,” noting that so often our Lord allows situations in our lives that we’d never have asked for or even wanted, yet if they are from him, then surely they are to be received as “good.” When we are sad or discouraged, and we don’t know why, we can rest in this truth, believing that God is always working for our good, joining our voice with Psalm 43 and saying, “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!”


Father, remind us that you are good and give to us out of your goodness and love. Help us cling to this truth, even when our emotions confuse us, or we find ourselves sad and discouraged, believing that you will lead us from darkness to light, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Meditate on this question today: “What did I expect this season of life to look like?”

Related Reading

Psalm 42:1-5; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 84:2

Worship Resource

Sandra McCracken: Send Out Your Light


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