this is not a completely happy psalm.
here we see David once again, who was the same guy who brought us this in Psalm 23:
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
As well as this from Psalm 34:
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
But now his mood has changed a lot and there is a lot more of this:
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
Same guy. Same God. Different context. Different feeling. And i imagine those of us who love God and try to follow Him completely get this. The echo of the new testament, ‘I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.’ [Mark 9.24] Being able to totally believe in God and trust that He loves you and will look after you, but also facing a really difficult situation and the feeling of distance from God as if He is not there. These are often wrestling emotions or states of being which go on inside a follower of Jesus. And I think it’s normal. It’s certainly not good, healthy or real to pretend as if everything is together when it feels like it is falling down. Sp definitely facing up to the trouble or the feeling of desparation as David does here feels really healthy and helpful for deep and authentic relationship.
As long as some time in the future, you end up at this place again [which David incidentally does while he is still in the bad place… so struggling, but holding on to this Truth he strongly believes in]
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.