Psalm 31 - For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the Lord.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, Lord,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lordpreserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
Devotional comment from Lynne Gibson
I made a new year’s resolution to say hello to everyone as I walk home each evening. I wanted to cultivate joy in my life and giving others a cheery “hello” on my journey home was my way of achieving this. It started as expected- I would say hello and smile, and people would react in the following ways:
1. Smile politely back
2. Ignore me/ look at me like I am a complete weirdo.
3. Not even notice as they are on the phone/listening to music.
These reactions I had prepared for, I was prepared to simply say hello and walk on. I wasn’t prepared for anyone to respond and start a conversation with me…
A couple of days ago I met Mike*, who upon hearing my cheery “hello”, took it as an invitation to process a hard situation he is currently facing. Our interaction only took about 4-5minutes, but in that time he was up front and honest with me, sharing how he was feeling about his situation.
As I listened, I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I was a little freaked out, and I wanted to run really fast in the opposite direction….but throughout the short interaction I heard a whisper repeating the words “you may be overwhelmed, but I’m (God’s) not”.
In Psalm 31, we see David being upfront and honest with God. In verses 9-14 he simply pours out his heart to God saying “…My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning” (v10)- this bloke is going through a hard time!
Being honest with God is not a bad thing- in fact, it is a form of Worship! Worship isn’t about ‘faking it’ or doing what we are ‘supposed’ to do. Truth is, we all find life hard sometimes, we have all been hurt. Worship is our opportunity to offer the brutal honesty of our broken state to the God who is longing to be the strength we lack.
When we turn to God (like David does in these verses), in that moment we are telling him that we believe he is our firm foundation. He is the one whom we are completely safe with and have no fear of pouring out our hearts to. We don’t need to fear rejection, ridicule or any blame. Our decision to turn to him in times of difficulty helps us understand who he is and what his heart is for us. When we make the choice to be upfront and honest with God, we are choosing to say, “I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘you are my God” (v14).
*Name changed to protect identity
What areas in your life are you finding tough right now? Take some time to be “up front and honest” with God. Be brave- trust me, God can handle it! After you do this recite verse 14, repeat it if necessary- “I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘you are my God”.
Lynne is the youth pastor at Belfast City Vineyard and oversees youth ministry for “Vineyard Churches in Ireland”.
She lives with her husband Paul, a cat called Maggie and 142 pairs of shoes.
She loves building Lego. Her greatest achievement in life is building the 3 biggest Legos available to buy.