Daily Devotional February 3
“Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 28:6-7)
These words of David appear in the very same psalm that he begins with the words, “I pray to you, O LORD, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary” (28:1-2). David found himself in a situation that he knew he was completely helpless to rectify on his own; all would be lost if God refused to help. He literally tells God that if He doesn’t come to his aid, he might as well ‘give up and die.’ If David’s thoughts had ended there, we would be left with David’s sense of utter hopelessness, even abandonment. If God doesn’t help, what’s the point of even trying.
But for David, while recognizing his inability to rescue himself, his thoughts do not end on a note of despair, for he quickly turns to the reality that God does hear him, that He has delivered him, that God is trustworthy and will help. In response, David is able to shrug off the shadow of despair and ‘burst out in songs of thanksgiving.’
Part of me wonders if David wrote this psalm in two parts. The first part when in the midst of terrible trouble, completely dependent on God to rescue; the second, after God has provided the rescue. This short psalm contains quite the change in attitude on David’s part, yet one common thread connects his earlier despair to his giving of praise—his reliance on God. Whether in the depths of hopelessness or the heights of thanksgiving, David knew who his source of help was and never deviated to seeking it elsewhere…well, most times. He was human just like you and I.
Can we echo David’s strong assurance that it is God that we are depending on? Both in the midst of struggles and in moments of success? If you are finding yourself feeling like David did, that you might as well ‘give up and die’ may I suggest that you also take a note from David’s dependence on God alone. No, he couldn’t conjure a rescue for himself, but he knew the One who could miraculously intervene on his behalf. For those whose trust is in the Lord, we can say confidently with David, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). And when your rescue comes, don't forget to say, 'thanks!'
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!