Broken & Thankful
Is it possible to be broken and thankful? To grieve the trouble around you, yet offer thanksgiving to God? David penned Psalm 31 in the midst of a troubling time. The psalm offers a sweet template for us on how to handle distress and affliction:
CRY OUT TO GOD
CONFESS YOUR CONCERNS
CELEBRATE HIS SUFFICIENCIES
When David faced trouble, he cried out to God. He acknowledged the brokenness around him and lamented the distress it caused his soul. Yet throughout the psalm, his cries are mingled with beautiful expressions of thankfulness, confidence, and celebration in view of the attributes of His God.
In verses 9-13, David details the troubles he’s been experiencing:
"Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away. Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me. I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me,They schemed to take away my life (Psalm 31:9-13)."
Whatever heavy afflictions you are facing, you can cry out to the Lord. He does not make light of your suffering, in fact, you are told to cast “all of your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”
David was able to confidently commit himself into the Lord’s hands because of his faith in God’s character and promises:
“Into Your hand I commit my spirit… (Psalm 31:5a)."
Jesus prays these same words to God the Father on the Cross (Luke 23:46). We should follow this example.
The psalm concludes with worship as David reflects further on the Lord’s Faithfulness and Lovingkindness. He celebrates the heart and compassion of his God and encourages others to do the same:
“O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:23-24).”
If you've been dealing with some difficult afflictions, we encourage you to read through Psalm 31. Cry out to the Lord, confess your concerns to Him, and take some time to celebrate His character and promises to you. Write down some of God's attributes you see mentioned in this psalm and reflect on how they relate to you and your suffering.