Speaking to the soul

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.
Psalm 31:9-10 NLT

David is clearly at the end of his tether. Physically he is in a bad way and he feels that everyone is out to get him. Even his friends have rejected him and in verse 11 he reports that when they see him in the street they run away from him. Just imagine how awful that must be. In addition to all that, he knows that he has let the side down by his own sin. He is in a state of complete grief. Everything has gone wrong.

I wonder if you have ever felt as desperate as that? If you have, then the last thing in the world you want is for people to tell you,” I’m sure it will all turn out all right in the end,” … or, “Just hang in there and you can be sure that things will improve.” We would, I think, both feel inclined to throw the nearest available large Bible at them!

In this psalm David is telling his own story and we should be impressed that he is so incredibly honest. I wonder when you last heard a testimony that was quite as candid and gut-wrenching as this. But he is quite clear that his terrible experiences didn’t have the last word. He records that his enemies were conspiring against him, plotting to take his life, and in the next verses (vv.14 and 15) he declares, “But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands.”

No-one will doubt, and certainly not David, that tough times can be crushingly awful. But they don’t need to have the last word. Not when we have God on our side. God can forgive us for our own sins and help us to forgive the sins of others so that we can overcome, in his strength, all the challenges that life might throw at us.


In what way would this psalm help you if you felt crushed by life?


Thank you Lord that you are with me, however tough life might be. Amen.