Donald Whitney, avid spiritual growth author and professor, wrote something that has resonated with me for a number of years now. He said, “There is a psalm for every sigh of the heart.” Today, we experience how true this quote is. The psalms aren’t just expressions of gladness and praise. They are often filled with deep anguish, emotion, pain, anger, and sadness. Guess what? More often than we’d like to admit, these sentiments are the “sighs of our hearts”.
Today’s Psalm is a lament, but it has a different tone to it than that of a traditional lament. It’s actually more of a combination of lament and praise. If I could summarize it in a simple thought, it would be this: proper perspective in the midst of trial. David opens with “My heart is steadfast”, “I will sing praises”, and “I will give thanks.” Doesn’t sound like much a lament, does it? Yet, I would contend that David started in the proper place with the proper perspective. It reminds me of another famous prayer in the Bible… Remember how Jesus taught us to pray?
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-13 ESV
Regardless of what came next, the prayer began with, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” In other words, Jesus is saying to us, “Get your eyes on me! Focus on me and I’ll help you figure the rest out.” How fitting is this for us today? No matter what comes our way or what kind of day we have, if we fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12), the rest will fall into place. Even when things don’t go our way, we look to God with a “Your kingdom come” frame of mind.
The verses that ministered to me most today are 5-6:
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer me!
Psalm 108:5-6 ESV
They spoke to me because those verses drove my mind to the thought that the God of heaven and earth chose to provide salvation for us through Jesus and the cross. Not only was salvation given by God’s right hand, but left as well, when Jesus’ hands were pierced for you and me.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor