Psalm 119: Growing In Love Through Pressures and Trials
Psalm 119 is one of the most beautiful songs. It expresses over and over the abundant delight and love we can have for God’s word. As many as the declarations of love and praise, however, are the confessions of internal and external pressures the psalmist faced. It points us to one of the most important truths about growing in love with Jesus: Intimacy with our Beloved is not reserved for the few times we feel most put together, have all our ducks in a row and are undistracted and untainted in our pursuit.
Most of our days do not look like that.
Enjoying intimacy with Jesus is our daily inheritance in the midst of the messiness of life.
Like David we face the pressures of running into our own weakness, struggling with sin, feeling like a pilgrim in this world, struggling with sickness, oppression and the evil in our own heart. We encounter others not liking us, false accusation and persecution for taking a stand for the truth. We experience seasons of anguish and sorrow and lose our perspective in the waiting for His promises. Psalm 119 speaks a different message: Enjoying intimacy with Jesus is our daily inheritance in the midst of the messiness of life.
David used the pressures as an escort into the dialogue with God. When internal pressures were mounting and external circumstances pushed him into a corner He kept the conversation going. Instead of retreating into self-pity and shame he turned the pressures into prayer and his affliction into song. He starts the Psalm by reminding himself of the blessing of wholeheartedness. Instead of focussing on His problem by saying “I always wonder from your commandments, I have stumbled again” he states: “O that my ways were directed to keep your statutes. O that I would walk in your commandments. See my willing heart and help me. I am struggling but you are the One I want and as long as I keep that truth in front of me it does not matter how often I stumble or how many people speak against me. I am not a sinner struggling to love God, I am a lover of God who still struggles with sin.”
…with God every tear and every trial can be turned into the most life-giving encounter with Him.
In the midst of the ups and downs of this life we can find the fruitful avenue that David found of delighting in the word of God and enjoying the dialogue with Him. We cannot choose most of our circumstances but with God every tear and every trial can be turned into the most life-giving encounter with Him. The pressures and pains actually work for us to transform us into His likeness and Psalm 119 provides us with excellent conversation material for this journey.