In Psalm 31, David is dismayed. Enemies surround him and “with pride and contempt boiling in their hearts, they speak boldly against the righteous and persecute those who poured their trust into [God]” (verse 18). Today, I’m sharing the whole psalm because we should read the verses about God’s good blessings in context — the juxtaposition of chaos swirling, evil prevailing, and discouragement mounting puts God’s goodness into perspective.
The good blessings of God are keenly felt when we need them the most. Think about a time — maybe even now — when you have faltered, lost hope, or felt beaten. When we feel discouraged, David’s psalm 31 inspires us. As he so often does, David laments — sharing his heart with God — and ends reminding himself of God’s goodness. If do read it, and you’re able and willing, read it aloud because Scripture is more powerful when you see and hear it at the same time.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
You are my shelter, O Eternal One—my soul’s sanctuary!
Shield me from shame;
rescue me by Your righteousness.
Hear me, Lord! Turn Your ear in my direction.
Come quick! Save me!
Be my rock, my shelter,
my fortress of salvation!
You are my rock and my fortress—my soul’s sanctuary!
Therefore, for the sake of Your reputation, be my leader, my guide, my navigator, my commander.
Save me from the snare that has been secretly set out for me,
for You are my protection.
I entrust my spirit into Your hands.
You have redeemed me, O Eternal, God of faithfulness and truth.
I despise the people who pay respect to breathless idols,
and I trust only in You, Eternal One.
I will gladly rejoice because of Your gracious love
because You recognized the sadness of my affliction.
You felt deep compassion when You saw the pains of my soul.
You did not hand me over to the enemy,
but instead, You liberated me
and made me secure in a good and spacious land.
Show me Your grace, Eternal One, for I am in a tight spot.
My eyes are aching with grief;
my body and soul are withering with miseries.
My life is devoured by sorrow,
and my years are haunted with mourning.
My sin has sapped me of all my strength;
my body withers under the weight of this suffering.
To all my enemies I am an object of scorn.
My neighbors especially are ashamed of me.
My friends are afraid to be seen with me.
When I walk down the street, people go out of their way to avoid me.
I am as good as dead to them. Forgotten!
Like a shattered clay pot, I am easily discarded and gladly replaced.
For I hear their whispered plans;
terror is everywhere!
They conspire together,
planning, plotting, scheming to take my life.
But I pour my trust into You, Eternal One.
I’m glad to say, “You are my God!”
I give the moments of my life over to You, Eternal One.
Rescue me from those who hate me and who hound me with their threats.
Look toward me, and let Your face shine down upon Your servant.
Because of Your gracious love, save me!
Spare me shame, O Eternal One,
for I turn and call to You.
Instead, let those who hate me be shamed;
let death’s silence claim them.
Seal their lying lips forever,
for with pride and contempt boiling in their hearts,
they speak boldly against the righteous and persecute those who poured their trust into You.
Your overflowing goodness
You have kept for those who live in awe of You,
And You share Your goodness with those who make You their sanctuary.
You hide them, You shelter them in Your presence,
safe from the conspiracies of sinful men.
You keep them in Your tent,
safe from the slander of accusing tongues.
Bless the Eternal!
For He has revealed His gracious love to me
when I was trapped like a city under siege.
I began to panic so I yelled out,
“I’m cut off. You no longer see me!”
But You heard my cry for help that day
when I called out to You.
Love the Eternal, all of you, His faithful people!
He protects those who are true to Him,
but He pays back the proud in kind.
Be strong, and live courageously,
all of you who set your hope in the Eternal!
What a delightful ending! How often my prayers sound like a dirge and end with a whimper rather than a praise. How about you? Are you able to park yourself on God’s good blessings?
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