Sunday 29 January, 2017

Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.[b] 5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened[c]— burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require. 7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll.[e] 8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” 9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. 11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. 12 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. 13 Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me. 14 May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. 15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. 16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” 17 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.

The older I get, the more I appreciate how real and raw the Bible is – full of the highs and lows of real human existence that everyone will experience if they have lived long enough.

Psalm 40, like so many other Psalms gives me the comfort that I can be honest with God about how I am feeling when things are tough. I don’t have to sugar coat things or pretend to be anything I am not – in fact honesty is something that He values highly. “I need your help, God!” is a prayer that He is pleased to hear and answer.

Today, I remember that I don’t have to face life in my own strength, and I am so grateful for my God hears my cries and helps me in my weakness.

Written by Shelley Witt

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