The Blessed Trial (Psalm 116)

29 04 2006

Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications.

The heart of the Psalmist is depicted here to demonstrate for other worshippers of the true God, the one who made heaven and earth and now sustains all things by the word of his power (Heb. 1.3) the necessity of stimulated affections towards Jehovah, even in light of tough circumstances.

I am struck by these the first words that fly out of the writer’s heart and ultimately his pen as he writes this song of praise: ‘I love the LORD’ I suppose I am struck because I too love the LORD, so therefore these words ring true, affirming and encouraging. But they also stimulate within me a burning desire to join the chorus of worship here, to echo the writer with a hearty ‘Amen!!’

Notice the reasoning why he loves the LORD: ‘because he hears my voice and my supplications’. In this Psalm the writer is under particular distress and persecution even to the point of death (cf. v4 & 15), however, the saint finds great encouragement in the character of God, particularly his faithfulness and mercy.

Too often we, while in the cords of the trial, find ourselves gazing at the problems rather than the God who is to be seen so clearly and magnificently in the respective trials! For it is in this trial that the Psalmist really sees God! What follows is a role call of the divine characteristics: gracious (5), righteous (5), compassionate (5), preserving (6), saving (6), goodness (7), & mercy (8).

Would he have seen the glory of the LORD apart from this trial? Not this clearly. Even as the Psalmist says in another place: Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

This text is a timely reminder for believers to embrace the sovereignly placed trial with trust, dependence, love and worship! For the trial is the very means by which our loving Father draws his children into a closer and more dependent relationship with himself.

Psalm 116:12-13 12 What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me? 13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the LORD.