My last blog post was on January 9th and was entitled “Hope in the Midst of the Dark Night of the Soul.” As it turns out, that post had a bit of a prophetic tone to it because later that afternoon I ended up in the Intensive care unit of Western Baptist Hospital, where I spent the next several days. That morning I was writing about the “dark night of the soul” but had no idea that later that afternoon I would be going through a “dark night” myself. Physically, I am getting better and starting to recover some of my energy and this morning decided it was time to get back to blogging.
In Psalm 31:1 the Bible says, “In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!” If you will take time to read the rest of the Psalm you will notice that three times in the opening five verses, the Psalmist refers to God as being a “refuge.” In other words, God is our place of shelter or protection from danger or distress. There can be little doubt in any of our minds that this is a dangerous world for believers. All around us we are surrounded by trouble of all kinds and an enemy who wants to destroy us. At times the world can seem to be overwhelming and apparently David was going through such a period himself when he wrote this Psalm. In verses 9-10 David describes the internal effects of sin that he has been experiencing and in v.11-13 turns his attention to the external consequences. It is clear that he is having a hard time, but look at how he handles the situation. Instead of falling into despair, David turns to God and confesses his faith and trust in God’s steadfast love and faithful character. David prays for deliverance and expresses his faith in God’s deliverance in v.21-22 when he says, “Blessed by the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. I said in my alarm, ‘I am cut off from your sight.’ But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.” David closes this Psalm with a helpful piece of advice for all of us, “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.”