But I (vv. 11 – 18) – As he keeps processing, David slips back to the emotion of the moment. God still feels far away. Trouble is near. He feels no help from anywhere. He describes his situation like being surrounded by strong bulls, frightened by ravenous and roaring lions, and trapped by wild dogs. His heart feels as though it is melting like wax. He exclaims that his strength is gone, his tongue is stuck, and he feels God has laid him “in the dust of death.”
But You (vv. 19 – 21) – Returning to surpassing thoughts about God, he affirms that God is “not far off” and will come quickly to his aid. Like David, in our troubled times we must focus on and boldly declare God’s sure deliverance and power. David announces that God will save and rescue him from the beasts that attack. Are you sensing the back and forth of David’s struggle? Does it seem all too familiar?
I Will (vv. 22 – 25) – Now David finds the grace to set his focus and resolve. He pronounces, “I will tell of your name.” He resolves to give great praise to God, enlisting others to also give God glory and “stand in awe of him.” He testifies that the Lord has not despised his affliction but has heard his cry. Spiritual sanity prevails as David goes on to say, “My vows I will perform before those who fear him.” Like David, to regain perspective we must remember our duty, our testimony before others, and the sure promise of God’s calling.
Others Will (vv. 26 – 31) – Finally, David looks past himself to see the Lord who has redeemed his pain in order to inspire others. He speaks of others who are afflicted and will seek the Lord. Their “hearts will live forever!” David embraces the joy of a God-given mission as he envisions the ends of the earth turning to the Lord and the nations worshiping. He declares God’s rule over the nations and envisions the testimony of the Lord to coming generations: “They shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”
From Our Gloom to His Glory
As I reflect on these lessons, I realize that all of us must embrace the painful course of getting over ourselves. We might start by being raw and honest about the real content of our hearts and our feelings about the situations.
We must fight for a holy obsession with the character of God, even if it feels like two steps forward and three steps back. By the grace of Christ, we can recognize that He rules over our lives. He is faithful to His promises and calls us to a glorious mission to serve others for the sake of the gospel and for the good of coming generations.
What I find so beautiful about this psalm is that as David turned to the Lord, his prayer was punctuated with inspired prophecies of Christ. The Lord took his honest discouragement and has turned countless generations to look upon the cross of Jesus with awe and obedience. So today, let the Lord turn your gloom into His glory as you seek Him in honest, persistent, believing prayer for the honor of Jesus and His mission.
This article originally appeared here.