Tuesday, January 11, 2022

         Psalm 31 was likely written by David.  It was certainly possible that David could have sung this Psalm as a praise to the Lord.  He may have even sung it or recited it to King Saul to help the king with his frequent bouts of anger, depression, rage and worry.  All twenty-four verses are worthy of our time and prayerful reflection as we read it.  I lift up a several verses in particular for us to consider.  First, Psalm 31:5 says, “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.”  These words may sound familiar to you.  Jesus prayed these words as He took His final breath on the cross.  It might be comforting for you to know that Jesus felt the range of human emotions—even times of anxiety, abandonment, loneliness and isolation.  At the cross, Jesus did what only He could do in paying for the sin debt that we owe.  We can be encouraged by knowing that we too can lift our spirits to the Lord.  There will be times when we all have to do this.    
            David’s message to us teaches us the importance of committing ourselves to the Lord and trusting His provisions.  In committing our spirit to the Lord, we trust Him with our emotions, thoughts and reflections.  We believe He will provide for those needs as surely as He will provide for our physical needs.  The phrase “I commit” reminds us that we have to make this choice to trust ourselves to the Lord.  No one can do that for us.  We do not inherit that from the family tree.  And in making such a commitment, we trust that God will be faithful.  He will keep His promises and honor His people.
            A bit later in Psalm 31, we read, “My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak” (31:10).  We read that verse and it sounds like a laundry list of things that have gone wrong.  It seems like everything that could go wrong has suddenly gone wrong and it all went wrong at the same time.  I suspect we have all had days like that.  We have plowed our way through one issue or crisis after another.  The headwinds seem strong and the tailwinds almost non-existent.  David teaches us a lesson in honesty before the Lord.  It is good to unload and unburden ourselves before Him.  Some do this by journaling.  Others take a prayer walk.  And some people take extended time in prayer.  We do not have to keep our battles and brokenness bottled up inside us.  God has offered us His ear and His heart.
            At the end of Psalm 31, we find a closing verse that offers us profound hope and encouragement.  David wrote, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).  We believe that God is faithful in writing history.  He has the last word whether in the creation or in the life of a child of His.  We can take heart and be hopeful because the Lord is good to His people and delivers them to victory.  We can take heart (or take joy) because our hope is in the Lord.  Hope invested in the Lord is safer than any deposit box or holding place we could imagine. 
            Psalm 31 is a worthy chapter for your reflection when the days seem long, the questions seem plentiful and the answers seem few.  We are reminded of God’s goodness and attentiveness to His people.  Much as a mother hears and understands the cry of her child, God hears our cries and knows our needs even before we present them to Him.  As David wrote, the Lord God is our rock and fortress.  He is unshakeable and unbroken.  Matthew Henry once remarked, “The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's.”  Indeed!  And Psalm 31
helps us to center our lives and thoughts squarely in the hands of the Lord God.  Have a great Tuesday!

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