Psalm 143 is our focus today.
This psalm speaks to the person who is at the end of their rope, who is crushed in spirit, who feels helpless, or in such pain that maybe they are left depressed.
This psalm is also for those who are spiritually lost. This psalm is a psalm of repentance and hope in the salvation of God.
We can actually see such clear steps to take of faith, to bringing us to a place of hope and trust in the lord.
We can see David’s condition for writing this psalm in verses 3-4. “The enemy has pursued his soul; he has crushed his life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness…Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.” “Appalled” here in this verse literally means “overcome with dismay.” The implication is that David has lost his will to live. Like, if God does not intervene, his life could be over.
Have you ever felt like this before? Pain and suffering can make us feel like this at times can’t they? In the midst of a painful time or a time of suffering, we can tend to feel so blind to any chance of hope for the future. There may be some truth the the phrase “blinding pain.” Pain so bad we can’t see past it. I think this is where David is. Maybe you have been there; maybe it was a marriage issue, you lost a loved one, lost a job, your child did something inconceivable…whatever it is, we have all been there before. So what do we do?
This psalm is actually known as a psalm of repentance, which is weird considering the context right? David is feeling crushed, at the end of his rope, so he repents? Verses 1-2 shows us that this is a psalm of repentance: “give ear to my plea for mercy!” (verse 1) “For no one living is righteous before you!” (verse 2).
You see, when we are suffering or in pain, at times we can become self righteous; looking at ourselves and looking for God to fix things because we have been “good” or we deserve things to be better. Pain can do that, it can cause us to look at ourselves. Pain can also cause us to look upward, which is what I believe this psalm calls us to do.
Verse 5 helps us in showing us how to respond. “I remember the days of old; I will meditate on all you have done, I ponder the word of your hands.” Instead of focusing on the feelings of your present pain, focus your eyes on the faithfulness of God in the past. We have talked about this before. Look what David does…”I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”
If there is anyone reading this that is lost spiritually, crushed, in pain physically or emotionally, you may be tempted to look within to find answers, you may be tempted look for substances to heal the pain, or relationships to heal the pain. But what your soul really needs, and is thirsting for, is more of Jesus! Stretch out your hands right now and cry out to God and say, “God my soul thirsts for you! I know you have been gracious, faithful, and merciful in times past…save me today.”
You know, tomorrow things might not improve instantly in your circumstances. But God’s faithfulness is new each morning. Verse 8 says, “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love for I trust in you!” I want you to hear this today: if you woke up this morning, God loves you and He is faithful! Each breath we take is a sign of God’s faithfulness; each morning is a sign of God’s grace! He loves you!
We see then in verses 11-12 how David surrenders his life to the will of God. He says in verse 10, “teach me to do your will, let your good spirit lead me…” Verse 11 “For your names sake, O lord, preserve my life..” and in verse 12, “I am your servant.”
Look at the progression in this psalm! Confession of sin in the midst of hopelessness, based on the continued faithfulness of God, leads us to a place of trust and surrender to the will of God in our lives for His name’s sake!
Ah! This psalm is so good! Trust in God today! Confess your sin to the righteous and holy God who is ever faithful! He will satisfy the longings of your soul! He will fill you with hope! Surrender your life to the will of God each and every morning because each morning is a new day of grace!