Praise can come even in times of trials
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalms 40:1-3
This psalm, written by David, is about dealing with trials. David doesn’t go into detail about the nature of his trouble, but it’s clear that it was very serious. He characterizes it as ‘a pit of despair’ in which there was ‘mud and the mire’ (v. 2), images that convey a situation of utter hopelessness and helplessness. We have no difficulty relating to such graphic description for we are not prevented from experiencing sickness, death of a loved one, financial hardship and the loss of friends. David responded to his dilemma by waiting patiently for the Lord. In other words, he cast himself and his situation completely upon the Lord as the only possible way out. This doesn’t mean he was resigned, just sat down and passively said, ‘If the Lord wants to deliver me, he will deliver me.’ His waiting rather consisted of crying to the Lord. Prayer is the means God has ordained for working his purposes out in the lives of his children. God heard David’s prayer and delivered him from “pit of despair. What a deliverance it was! David’s feet were lifted out of the miry clay of a horrible pit and were ‘established’ on a solid ground. He realized that Someone must come to pull him out of his despair. Praise became a natural response for he trusted God. Such deliverance caused the believer to expect others hearing this to fear and trust God. David’s experience caused him to state a general truth: anyone who trusts in the Lord is blessed of the Lord. “Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols” (v. 4). Trusting the Lord is, of course, the opposite of relying on arrogant people who follow their own deceived reasoning. The object of hope in times of trouble is God and not those who are proud and arrogant who would offer God no praise, and the kind who depend on falsehood and explain life in that emptiness rather than giving God glory.
Noel De Guzman