Psalm 31:9 “Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;”
[You, Lord, are the One I should flee to immediately when anxiety and fear, worry and distress strike, for you alone have the power to do something about it.
You are the mighty and merciful One, you are gracious and good, you are wise and wonderful. Praise you for how you will help us in our situations, few of which could be more distressing than David’s, which he describes in the verses below. His distress involved every area of his life, emotional and physical, social and positional:]
Psalm 31:9b-12 “my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends—those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;”
[What a devastating picture of severe distress, but allowed by you, Lord, for you were at work through it, doing significant things in David’s life. And so you are at work in our lives as we move into and through difficult times. In these we can trust you, no matter how painful they may be, as David goes on to describe.]
Psalm 31:12b-13 “I have become like broken pottery. For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life.”
[David was weak and vulnerable, surrounded by threats, assaulted by fears and attacked by men, in real danger of death. He was in the fire. It looks bad. However, the next words, words of choice, make all the difference:]
Psalm 31:14 “BUT I trust in you, O LORD;”
[In spite of his circumstances, in spite of how he felt, in spite of the very real dangers, in spite of getting no answers yet, David makes the choice to trust in Jehovah, the great and holy God, to expect help from Him based on His perfect character and wide wisdom.
In using the word “BUT,” David chooses to reject the natural tendency to let his feelings, thoughts and circumstances rule him, saying instead,]
“I say, ‘You are my God.’”
[He affirms that the Lord is his God, his final authority. This is looking away from the seen to the unseen. It is a declaration that Jesus is David’s final authority and David is going to trust Him and obey Him, not feelings; he chooses spiritual facts over fear. David is submitting his intellect and perceptions to the higher authority of Scripture.]
And this is what you call us to do, too, Lord God. When we are in the fire, this is the response of faith, “But, I trust in you, O LORD!”
What a privilege to be able to think and act in faith in the face of fears. Thereby we can bring you great honor, demonstrating to all around us the power of your grace, the wisdom of your way and the support of your Spirit.
Help us to be honest before you about how we feel, lifting our souls to you, God, while always ending with “But, I trust in you, Lord!”