In Psalm 39 we experience a lot of David’s emotions in a short period and we see him coming full circle as he deals with them.
At first David is pursing his lips trying so hard to bit his tongue and not complain to God, but “[his] heart became hot within [him]. As [he] mused, the fire burned; then [he] spoke with [his] tongue” (Psalm 39:3). He held it in until he literally couldn’t anymore. Have you ever done that? Have you been so upset or frustrated that you keep telling yourself to keep quiet but it feels as if you are bursting at the seams? I know I have, and usually it doesn’t take much to make those seams burst.
Once the floodgates opened David cried out to God. He is distressed and focused on the frailty and shortness of his life. David is worn out and wants relief from this hard life yet he returns his focus to God who remains his steadfast hope.
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”Psalm 39:5
At the end of the Psalm, David petitions to God to deliver him from his transgressions and to show him grace and compassion.
In this text we get to experience the full circle of David’s feelings as he penned this Psalm, and his feelings are relatable. We all experience hardships, often because of our own sinful nature.
For me personally, when I can know longer handle my my circumstances on my own, I cry out to God. It can be hard during this process to not justify the role I’ve played in my current situation because it’s easier to say, “I only said this because they said that first!” It’s much harder to own our mistakes and remember that just because we experience hardships and troubles does not mean God is punishing us or that he’s vindictive. It is often the result of our own actions. As I begin to get a better grasp on my emotions and adjust my perspective around my circumstances, then I am able to seek God from a healthier place and ask for his grace and compassion. And he is faithful to respond.
The Psalms are a great source of wisdom and encouragement. Grab your copy of Celebrating Psalms – Book 1 today and dig in!