In  thee,  O  Lord,  do  I  put  my  trust

Psalm 31:1a

Riding the trials and uncertainties of life often feels like a ride on a wooden roller coaster.  But few people today experience the lurches and ups and downs that David did in the Old Testament.  In his life as a shepherd, soldier, fugitive and king, he faced ongoing stresses of exposure, rejection and death threats.  We read of David's all-consuming distress and his plea for God's help in Psalm 31:9:  "Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly."

In the verses that follow he describes his grief and the threats against him, concluding in verse 13, "I have heard the slander of many; fear was on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life."

Verse 14 shows the focus of his prayer shifting from himself to his Lord:  "But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God."  He had found his anchor, and it wasn't his emotions and feelings.

David expresses this change of focus and confidence in verse 15:  "My times are in they had: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me."  His adversaries had not given up, but his focus had shifted from the waves that were tossing him about to the One who created the waves, and by the end of the Psalm, he was able to encourage those around him with these words:  "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."

David had discovered the truth Paul later wrote about in the New Testament: "Blessed be God...the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God"  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

from a sermon by Ben Killerlain