I know all of us have had days, weeks, and months of hardship. I am talking about days when it is hard to focus on a task because of worry, and nights that rob us of sleep. Sometimes these hard times seem to drag on and on. After some weeks we feel emotionally worn out, like we can’t possibly handle one more thing.
We read about such a time in the life of our Psalmist in verses 81-88. Spurgeon calls this section the midnight of the Psalm. It is dark and bleak, and yet “stars shine out.”
This poor Psalmist is in a bad way. There are people after him who want to ruin him (vs. 61), others mock him (vs. 51), and they are speaking lies about him (vs. 69). He even feels like his physical life is very much in danger (vs. 87).
We all have a breaking point and the Psalmist feels that he is reaching his. He comes to a point in his trials and sufferings where he is not sure he can handle one more thing (vs.83).
“For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke…”
When wineskins were left in a smoky area, they turned dark with soot and became dry and wrinkled. This is how the Psalmist felt. He was worn out, lined with worry, marked with sadness, frustration, and probably fear.
But as Spurgeon said, this dark and bleak time also had stars. His faith continued on. He continued to cling with all his might to the word of God, knowing that at some point night would turn to day.
This is what trials should to do us. They should push us more deeply into God’s word and therefore more tightly into the arms of God. The hardest days can’t tear true believers away from their God.
Verse 89 begins the dawning of a new day and renewed hope for the author:
“Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.”
When the Psalmist is thrown around by all of his troubles, he makes sure to find his footing on the solid rock of God’s word. It is unmovable, secure and steady. This must be our footing as well. When we stand on this rock, we will find strength to fight temptation and bear affliction, power to obey, and resolve to stand firm.
How is it possible for God’s word to do all of this for us? This word is the same word which spoke everything into existence (vs.91) and which sustains the earth today (Heb 1:3). And not just the earth, but us as well. This word is filled with power because it took on flesh and became a man (John 1).
The reason we can live through the toughest days is because we have been given new life through Christ and the Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts. We do not fight alone. We do not walk through hard days alone. We do not cry alone.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we did not have God’s word? We would not know true wisdom, we would not have a place to find real comfort or joy, we would not know God, and we would not have salvation.
God’s word truly is a treasure that is more valuable than the most outrageous amount of earthly riches (vs. 72). I pray that, like the Psalmist, God’s word would also become our most prized possession… something we could never live without.
Looking To Jesus,