A completely different format today that I hope you will fully engage with. It certainly fits our situation, and I suspect it does for many of you. This was found at the blog of Tim Chester where, as always, you’re encouraged to read it at source.
In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
- From what do you need ‘rescue’ and ‘refuge’?
- What’s the ‘trap’ in which you could fall? In other words, what temptation comes with your circumstances?
- Highlight each time the Psalmist says ‘refuge’, ‘rock’ and ‘fortress’. How is God a refuge for you in the midst of your current problems?
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.
- What makes the Psalmist glad? How might these truths comfort you?
- What does it mean for God to put you in a ‘spacious place’ in the midst of your current problems?
9. Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak …
- How do your current problems make you feel?
- Do you find it helpful to express those emotions before God?
14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies;
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD,
for I have cried out to you …
- ‘My times are in your hands.’ ‘Had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.’ (Charles Spurgeon) Do you believe this? How does it comfort you?
- How does God’s face shine on you in the midst of your problems? In other words, how is God being good to you?
19. How great is your goodness,
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
- God has great goodness stored up for you. Compare the hope you have in Christ with what you think you lack in life.
- How do you think of God ‘sheltering you’ and ‘hiding you’?
21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed his wonderful love to me
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all his saints!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.
- What comfort has the Psalmist given to those who feel abandoned by God?
- Who could you tell how God has helped you? Who could you encourage to be strong, take heart and hope in the LORD?
Making Psalm 31 Your Own
O LORD, I take refuge in you from ____________.
Don’t let me be ashamed by my problems.
Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
Free me from the temptation to ___________.
I put myself in your hands for you are my refuge.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you see my ___________.
and you know the anguish of my soul.
When I feel trapped by my circumstances
lead me into a spacious place.
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in distress.
Both my body and soul feel weak with sorrow.
But I trust in you for you are my Father.
My times are in your hands.
My problem ___________ is in your hands.
Let your face shine on me.
How great is the goodness you have stored up for me.
It’s much greater than ___________.
In the shelter of your presence
you keep me safe me from ___________.
Praise the LORD, for he shows his wonderful love to me
when I am besieged by ___________.
In my alarm I said, “God has abandoned me.”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy.
Love the LORD for he protects his people.
Be strong, take heart, hope in the LORD.