Thursday, March 26, 2015

Praising through the Problems of Life

Psalm 23:1-3
{A Psalm of David.} "Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside still waters.He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Darby translation)

David's Psalms have always been of great comfort to me, but they especially minister when I'm going through trials. I remember pondering them even when I was a teenager, when I felt that my adolescent world was caving in. The Psalms are timeless, even though written in ancient times, they are just as relevant today. When I get to heaven, I would be thrilled for a chance to meet David and discuss his beautiful words. But even more important, I will get to look upon the face of the One whom David wrote about, and never have to go through trials again. What a day to look forward to!

In the book Streams in the Desert, I read one post about how David had to go through many difficult times in order to write those words which have encouraged millions. It was not easy for him to go through all of that, but that was God's way of getting these beautiful messages of hope to us. God worked the hardest things in David's life to the good for all the believers who have received God's written Word. For March 19, the devotion declares that if David had not gone though those trials we would have not received the blessing they provide.

"One stinging sparrow spared would have been one blessing missed and unclaimed. One difficulty or danger escaped-- how great would have been our loss! The thrilling psalms where God's people today find expression for their grief or praise might never have been known." from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman in the updated version edited by James Reimann, Zondervan Publishing House, 1997, page 121.

This morning when I had my time with God, I hunkered down in Psalm 40:1-3. I remember being drawn to this verse many years ago.

{To the chief Musician. Of David. A Psalm.} "I waited patiently for Jehovah; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. And he brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock; he hath established my goings: And he hath put a new song in my mouth, praise unto our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall confide in Jehovah." (Darby translation)

A few notes on some of the words:

The name Jehovah is one of the many names for God. It means "God in covenant relationship to those whom He has created. Jehovah means the Eternal, the Immutable One, He who WAS, and IS, and IS TO COME." (note Bullinger Companion Bible, Appendix 4)

I waited patiently: In the Hebrew this means "in waiting I waited." Bullinger, note Psalm 40:1

The words for pit of destruction and the miry clay: In the KJV it is called a horrible pit, meaning "state of sin and death which God alone can save a man" Miry clay means "The pit of perdition and the mud of corruption" (Dake Study Bible, note on Psalm 40:2)

I never realized before the meaning of the pit and the miry clay. I thought it just meant being in a bad situation. But the true meaning reveals where we all start out. The Apostle Paul says of the unregenerate man:

"that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." Ephesians 2:12 emphasis mine

Only God can reach down, in His tender mercy and pull each one of us out of that pit by His marvelous quickening by the Spirit. And that is what He does for each one who receives His gift of eternal life. But wait, there's more! He also sets our feet upon a rock.

The word for rock is "sela." It means "fortress, a refuge and security" notes from Bullinger Companion Bible on Psalm 40:2, Deuteronomy 32:13
It would be an amazing study to find all the references in the Bible to God being our rock and our fortress.

The result of all these things is a heart filled with gratitude: "And He hath put a new song in my mouth, praise unto our God."(Ps. 40:3) This new song will also be sung in heaven when time in human history has ended and Christ once again rules the planet. After the Lamb of God takes the scroll (the deed to planet earth that He won back at the cross), this will be the scene in heaven:

8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

​​“You are worthy to take the scroll,
​​And to open its seals;
​​For You were slain,
​​And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
​​Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 ​​And have made us king and priests to our God;
​​And we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5: 8-10

If we will be praising Him throughout eternity, doesn't it make sense to praise Him now for the trials and difficulties of life? It sometimes is not easy for me to automatically do this, but I know when I do, it takes the focus off of me and my little problems and back rightfully on God. I feel a sense of relief knowing that I am known by My Maker.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28


  1. Wonderful writing, Megan! Gold coming out of the fiery much insight and wisdom!

  2. Dear Astrid,
    Thank you for writing. God really blessed me reading that passage from Ps. 40 today.