Pressing on through Trials (Psalm 119:73~88)
73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.
79 May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes.
80 May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.
81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, "When will you comfort me?"
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees.
84 How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pitfalls for me, contrary to your law.
86 All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for men persecute me without cause.
87 They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.
Bearing Witness (119:73–80)
As the psalmist acknowledges that he has been created and formed by God, he pleads to have a deeper knowledge of God’s laws. He has become convinced that God, in His faithfulness, has a purpose behind every affliction he faces. Having found security in God’s love, the psalmist asks God to use him as a source of joy and strength to others so that they, too, can receive comfort from God’s Word. God takes us through affliction to mature us, not only for our own benefit but also to build up the community around us. As we receive God’s Word daily, let us allow the Holy Spirit to shape our character so that both believers and non-believers can be drawn closer to Christ through us.
- How have you been a source of strength to the community around you? What aspect of God’s character do you want to learn more about through His Word?
Crying out to God (119:81–88)
The tone of the psalm shifts as the writer faces a life-threatening situation. He longs for salvation, but he does not know when it will come. He sees himself as a dried, old wineskin, drained of life but still he determines to continue walking according to God’s decrees. Although his situation brings him close to despair, the psalmist will not forsake God’s laws nor complain against Him; rather, he cries out to God to preserve his life. Trusting in God’s sovereignty does not mean we must ignore our pain and just move on. God invites us to acknowledge our suffering and listens to our cries. If we cling on to the hope found in His Word, we will find salvation.
- Which Scripture verses bring you comfort in times of difficulty? How can you make your experience of suffering a comforting testimony to others?
A letter to God
Heavenly Father, thank you for listening to my cries for help and for assuring me of Your love through Your Word. Use my life as a testimony of Your grace and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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