Psalm 25 today and Beth has supplied the notes.
This psalm is a fantastic prayer for those in times of trial and suffering.
I’m not sure what is going on in David’s life at the point when he wrote this psalm – it doesn’t say – but it’s clear that it is a time of trial and suffering. David is at rock bottom but he knows that his only hope is in the Lord (v2-3).
The psalm is a prayer of will; it is David’s desire to mean and live these words. He seems to be in a terrible situation; he is lonely, afflicted, in anguish and distress and hated by numerous enemies. Despite all this, David seems aware that, with God on his side, he is safe, secure and loved.
I can’t remember where I first heard it but its true: if God is on our side, we’re always in the majority. I’m sure David didn’t always feel this secure in God’s promises. I’m sure there were moments of darkness and doubt (there are plenty of psalms to show this) but here, he is placing all of his faith, hope and trust in the Lord and there is nowhere better for it to be.
Sometimes when we struggle, the Lord seems tangibly close and constant and loving but sometimes he doesn’t. If you’re reading this and you feel far from God, keep praying this psalm because the promises are true.
David asks to be taught and guided by God. What does he want to learn? His ways, his paths and his truth. He wants to be acting according to the Lord’s plans for his life; he wants to be more like God and he wants to know the truths of God. David wants God to be the centre and the focus of everything. What an inspirational prayer. So many of the worship songs we sing talk of giving God everything and focusing solely on Him but the words are far easier to sing that to truly mean.
In his time of struggle and suffering, David focuses on the promises of the Lord. We should do the same. When everything around us seems to be crumbling, when things aren’t going as we hoped or planned, trust in Him and His promises. As I’m writing this, thousands of pupils are coming to terms with important exam results. It’s a horrible time – I remember it too clearly – and sadly my profession as a teacher means that I have never really escaped the turmoil. Sometimes you can have clear plans in mind and it all goes wrong. Sometimes you feel like the Lord is telling you something and then it doesn’t happen. David provides a perfect lesson in how to deal with these difficulties: gain perspective by putting the Lord in his rightful place, remember His promises to you; remember His love and forgiveness.
Promises in my family always meant a great deal. If we were telling fibs or teasing one another, it would almost always end in the same question, ‘Do you promise?’ For some reason, however naughty we were feeling that day or however young we were, we simply couldn’t break a promise. As I’ve grown up, I realise that not all promises are this secure. I’ve been hurt by broken promises. Thankfully, when the Lord makes a promise, he keeps it. He is truth. He simply cannot lie. When you’re feeling lonely, stressed or pained, trust in the truth of God and His promises.
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
When Darkness seems to hide his face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.