Hope Abounds


Psalm 138
a Psalm of David

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,  for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

In recent days, God used this Psalm to infuse hope and healing into my weary and burdened heart. I know I’m not alone when I say that we all go through seasons of hurt, even anguish over our own sins or the sins of those we love. None of us wants to admit that truth, but sin is real, and the struggle against the flesh requires a daily dedication to walk in the Spirit and turn from our fleshly desires.

But God …

God in His faithfulness, uses His Word, His sovereign hand of providence, and His Spirit to guide us through these places of sin and struggle, bringing His children into spaces of rest, repentance, restoration, and revival.

Psalm 138 expresses David’s abundant thanks and praise to God for His help in times of distress. He says in verse 3, “On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” In other words, I turned to You in my weakness, Lord, and you not only heard my cry, but You answered me and acted in faithful love by infusing me with great strength.

But there is a caveat to God’s answering and acting. We see this in Psalm 138:1b when David says, “I bow down toward your holy temple …” David showed humility. He showed a humble spirit. He opened up and turned over his whole heart to God, not just a small portion. Verse 1 says, “I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart.”

So often we say we surrender all, laying ourselves on the altar of sacrifice to be used of God. But surrender isn’t simply giving ourselves to God for His use. Surrender is giving God every place and part of us and making Him Lord over our lives. Surrender means opening our whole heart, exposing the ugly and allowing God to shine light in all the dark and hidden place. Our reality often looks more like a game of “Hide and Seek” with God. We close portions of our hearts off, thinking that only what we choose to unveil gets revealed. We hide the seeming unknown transgressions in the shadows, behind locked doors, and in dark attic-like recesses of our minds.

But why? He knows all and sees all. Nothing remains hidden from the Lord. We are exposed, laid bare, vulnerable, and open. There is no shadow God won’t light up, no fleshly tendency He won’t clean out, no destructive habit He won’t tear down. No matter the lengths we go to cover, He uncovers because of His steadfast love for His children.

But when we …

When we acknowledge our sins to the Lord, He covers them, cleansing them with His blood. (Psalm 32) At once we are renewed, escorted into restoration, joy, and peace with God.

Psalm 138:6 says, “For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.”

Yes, healing and hope are found in humble surrender, thankfulness, and praise, not in arrogance, pride, and self-sufficiency.

But found here in the pages of God’s Word lies so much hope. In verses 7-8 of this chapter mercy meets grace and hope abounds. The Voice translation of these verses say this beautifully.

Whenever I walk into trouble, You are there to bring me out. You hold out Your hand to protect me against the wrath of my enemies, and hold me safely in Your right hand. The Eternal will finish what He started in me. Your faithful love, O Eternal One, lasts forever; do not give up on what Your hands have made.

I find peace in these words: You bring me out of trouble. You protect me in the midst of my own sin and destruction, and You hold me in safety. You finish what You started in me, all because of Your faithful love. Oh, how I thank the Lord for His mercy and grace. His mercy spares me the wrath I deserve, and His grace brings me back, heals me, and restores me, though I am unworthy.

Humble and contrite, those requirements make or break our progress and our destiny.

David penned another prayer of humble surrender and confession to God in Psalm 51 after he had sinned with Bathsheba. David, a man after God’s own heart, fell into temptation, but after humble surrender, God restored.

I don’t know where you are struggling. Perhaps the burden of sin weighs you down today, or perhaps the sin of someone you love. Pray this prayer, asking God to bring about repentance, complete surrender, restoration, revival, joy, and peace.

Our God stands faithful and hope abounds.

Psalm 51
a Psalm of David

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Jacqueline Heider