Read Psalm 26
1 Vindicate me, Lord,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
deliver me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground;
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.
In Psalms 26 we see that David is writing from a time of trouble. Despite his present difficulties he clings to hope: “Your steadfast love is before my eyes and I walk in your faithfulness.”
In this passage, David models praying through his suffering. The posture of his heart is evident in verse 6 and 7 as he proclaims thankfulness and tells everyone of the Lord’s wondrous deeds. David discusses integrity and purity but what he displays is his trust in the Lord. David understands that the Lord will not immediately deliver us from trouble, but that God is working all things together for our good. He sees us through. He knows the other side. He delivers us from our enemies. David trusted that no matter his present circumstances, God’s hand was on him and that allowed him to walk in integrity, despite the danger to his life and the wickedness around him. He stood confidently on level ground because of his hope in Jesus.
This text, written thousands of years ago, is relevant and applicable today. Suffering is all around us. We are living through unprecedented times that have many people feeling like the ground beneath them is an earthquake. And yet still, God is on His throne. The enemy uses chaos and disorder to lie to us and convince us that there is nothing good about our current reality. He wants our story to end in disappointment, discontentment, and despair. But Jesus carried all of that on the cross. It’s as if He’s whispering to us, “I see you. I felt that. I carried the burden of sin and shame for you.” Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of this grace. Let us not grow numb to this truth. Let us combat the lies of the enemy with not our own doing, but with what Jesus did on the cross. We see how David is able to proclaim his thankfulness and share the work of the Lord to all who will listen. We serve a God who is consistent. Regardless of our circumstances, He is still using us. And our story doesn’t end in suffering.
- How do you tangibly see God’s steadfast love and faithfulness today?
- In what ways are you bitter toward your current circumstance? How can you surrender that to God?
- Do you believe your feet stand on level ground? What characteristics of God allow you to believe or live that out?
“Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.” -Tim Keller