For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
FROM PROBLEMS TO PRAISE
We find pieces of this Psalm in the mouths of other bible characters as they go through suffering. Jonah quotes from from it, Jeremiah, another Psalmist in Psalm 73, and of course Jesus utters, “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” This Psalm has well worn traction for those who are facing affliction. It’s a place to go to in the time of need. It carries a beautiful balance of honest reflections on the problems of life and our peculiar circumstances, a reminder of God’s incredible character, and response of trust in the LORD.
I conducted a funeral for a friend a few weeks ago who reminded me of this psalm. She would call me up and everything would seem like an emergency. She had a small flair for the dramatic. But indeed the issues were real and so we would discuss the challenges she was facing. Somewhere in the midst of our conversation she would remember how God had provided for her in the past. The conversation would flow into a time of testimony. Finally she would land on the fact that we all knew from the beginning, God was in control and she trusted him.
It’s good to bring our problems to God! Where else can we take them? In the midst of our problems though, we should remember the character of God. Sometimes we are tempted to look at God’s character through out circumstance. We think, “Oh, He doesn’t love me? Why did he let this happen? How will I ever get through this?” When we should be looking at our circumstances through God’s character, “I don’t know why this happened, but I know that the Lord has never let me down before. I may not see it, but he has a plan. I certainly don’t understand what is going on, but the Lord does.”
David begins with his problems, takes them to the Lord and ends the Psalm with praise of who God is. In doing so, he demonstrates how we might pray and praise the Lord in the midst of our own afflictions.
Father, Thank you for your grace and everything that is new in my life each morning. Thank you for your amazing faithfulness. Thank you that you delight to hear the prayers of your servants. Thank you that we can call on you in our distress. Thank you that you hear us. As we pray though our difficulties I ask that we would be reminded of your goodness and character. I ask that as we lift our burdens to you we would trust you. Thank you for this tried and true psalm that helps us pray in our afflictions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.