APRIL 13

 

Read | Psalm 31

 

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
    as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
    but have set my feet in a spacious place.

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.
Let me not be put to shame, Lord,
    for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
    and be silent in the realm of the dead.
Let their lying lips be silenced,
    for with pride and contempt
    they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

How abundant are the good things
    that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
    on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
    from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
    from accusing tongues.

Praise be to the Lord,
    for he showed me the wonders of his love
    when I was in a city under siege.
In my alarm I said,
    “I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
    when I called to you for help.

Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
    The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
    but the proud he pays back in full.
Be strong and take heart,
    all you who hope in the Lord.

Respond | Gabrielle Dearduff

As we reflect on the psalms as a church, I pray this would feed our hearts and allow us to create new meaning. Take a moment to pause, breathe, and read Psalm 31 out loud and slowly. Let it rest in your heart.

 

The psalms teach us how to pray honestly; we bring our delight, our anger, our fears, our disappointment, our dreams, our stress, our gratitude to God. Psalm 31 opens with a demand for protection: “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” The psalmist seeks God’s deliverance.

When we are in distress, we cry out for God’s tender mercy. 

When all is uncertain, we remember, “My times are in your hands.” 

When we feel enclosed, God has “set our feet in a spacious place.” 

We remember God’s promises and we cling to hope. 

 

There is a hope that makes steady our hearts. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. 

What is one hope you have for today? Who is one person with whom you can share hope today? 

 

Loving Spirit, we cry out to you. Show us the wonders of your love. Lead us and guide us in your truth. Be near to us, O God, now and forevermore. Amen.

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