Read: Psalm 31v9– 16

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.

Meditate: The honesty of this Psalm is breathtaking. The writer is suffering at every level: he is physically weak through overwhelming sadness, a social outcast, and he is surrounded by whispering plots. There is no point in pretending that things really aren’t that bad when actually they are. 

This Psalm is much like Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on his way to the cross. But of course, this kind of distress is why he went to the cross in the first place. Jesus died to draw all people to himself, to break through the barrier of decay, despair and death, and to bring about the new purposes of God for the whole world. 

We can trust this God, the God we know in this Jesus. Our times are in his hand.

Pray: Pray that God’s face will shine upon us and upon his world with deliverance and rescuing power.

Engage: spend at least one hour doing something you enjoy