day 11 – put a psalm in my heart

Today, we read Psalm 30-31.

Morning. In Psalm 30 someone overflows with gratitude and thanksgiving as they recognize that God has answered their prayers and delivered them from some great danger.

Try this: read a brief psalm that pleads to God for rescue (such as Ps. 3 or Ps. 6) … then read this psalm (30) as the follow-up, following deliverance. How our prayers must be made up of giving to God, not merely begging for God to give to us; how we grow when our prayers are composed of praise, not merely petition.

Mid-dayPsalm 31.1-18. Psalm 31 is a plea for God’s help in a time of great, personal trouble, but is offered with great, powerful faith. The author is frail in body and spirit (vs. 9-10), de-friended (vs. 11), and forgotten (vs. 12). They are whispered about (vs. 13a), conspired against (vs. 13b), lied about (vs. 18a), and shamefully disrespected in the presence of others (vs. 18b). This has gone on for “years” and they see their “life” as used up and “spent” (vs. 10). God’s help cannot come to them too soon (vs. 2).

And how does the psalmist respond to all of this abuse? They look to God as their everlasting strength they lean on each day (vs. 3-4). And so, they quite purposefully place their spirit into God’s hands (vs. 5; recall Jesus’ use of this very psalm while his own life’s blood was draining out on, and would drain out fully, on the cross; cf. Luke 23.46). They remind themselves that God has kept them from experiencing even worse and has not allowed them to be overcome (vs. 8a); he has given them space to “stand” in life (vs. 8b). And they proclaim their continuing trust God … though he has allowed such pain and suffering in his servant’s life (vs. 14).

Wow. Just wow. Lord, for such a faith as this; bring me to this kind of trust in you!

TonightPsalm 31.19-24. The psalmist has finally – remember, the horror has lasted for “years” – been delivered from suffering. This is wondrous and a clear display of God’s faithfulness to the psalmist (vs. 21). And so the psalmist then turns to face all of us and encourages us to take courage, be strong, and stay faithful to God, come what may (vs. 23-23).

May we all hear this encouragement, deeply and daily.