WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 31
This Psalm is a great and important reminder to trust in the Lord regardless of how difficult the circumstances might be. Usually it is easier to trust God when things are good or easy. But for some reason the worse or harder things get the harder it is to trust Him. There is a great irony in that. As things get worse or harder, we should run to God and trust Him to do what He has promised. But too often in the face of increasing difficulties we are tempted to try to resolve the issues on our own.
As this Psalm opens, we are reminded that when things get more difficult, we should trust God for His strength. The first three verses are strong words about David’s trust in God during a time when others were trying to do him harm. The beginning of verse 5 was quoted by Jesus while He was on the cross. But here David appropriates these words as a great statement of his trust in God. The word commit was used to refer to depositing money in a trust such as in a bank. David knew if he deposited his life in God, it would be safe.
The second thing we encounter in this Psalm is that when we are struggling, we can ask God for mercy. In verse 4, David said, “You (God) are my strength.” In verse 14, David said, “You are my God”. And in verse 15, he pleaded for God’s mercy or steadfast love.
In verses 9-10, David describes his condition that caused him to cry out for God’s mercy. David was grieving. He was sorrowful. He was sighing. And he was weak. He was in physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish.
As you read on in verses 11-13, you see where others that had been close to him now despised him because they believed the lies of his enemies. When they met him on the street they turned and went the other way. It was like he was dead – no one placed any value on him or on what he could do. It was like he was as useless as broken piece of pottery. And still those who were so violently opposed to him continued to scheme and plot against him.
Verse 14 marks a significant turning point in this Psalm. Despite what was going on, David was still going to trust God. He committed his times or life to God. He knew that regardless of what was going on or how bad it was, he could trust his life and his eternity with the one, true God.
When we get to the last two verses, David’s perspective has changed. Instead of focusing on himself and his situation, he is now speaking to the people of Israel. There is a great truth here. One of the best ways to get out of the mire and the mud created by those who are opposed to you is to go help someone else. In other words, change your perspective. Get your focus on others, their needs, their wants.
So, David encourages others to love the Lord! He challenges them to trust that the Lord does right by the faithful. He inspires them to be courageous and strong in the Lord. And He reminds them to wait for the Lord.
We all go through difficult times, even preachers. We all go through times when people are against us, even preachers. We have all felt the misery of that opposition, even preachers. We have struggled with the loneliness that accompanies that, even preachers. And we all need to get refocused on God and His glorious goodness, even preachers. And we all need to do our best to help those God has put around us, especially preachers.