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Psalm 31 – I Put my Trust!

 July 2, 2024

Where do you place your trust? In psalm 31 – I put my trust; the psalmist puts his trust in God. What better place?

Psalm 31

Psalm 31, a lament, begins with the statement that the writer takes refuge in the Lord. He makes claims upon God, telling God to not let him be put to shame and to come to his rescue.

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.”

He asks God to be his rock of refuge and pull him out of the trap that is set for him.

Reasons the Writer Needs Refuge

The writer goes on to list reasons why he needs refuge:

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body!
For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
I am a reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.”

He appeals to God, reaffirming his trust:

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me. 

Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
Their lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

In typical lament fashion, the psalm ends with words of praise of God.

Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.”

God has shown his marvelous kindness and so we have reason to trust and hope in our God.

Where Do You Place your Trust?

Where do you place your trust? In your bank? Your school? Your church or place of worship? The government? Scary as it sounds, like it or not, we are placing our trust in banking institutions when we place our money in them, schools when we send our children to them, churches when we attend and give of ourselves, and even our government.

What choice do we have? To retreat and live off the grid? Some people do that, but that’s not for me. I know my need for others and my need for institutions and structures that make it possible for me to live with others, but I don’t give blanket trust. As Ronald Reagan said, trust and verify. I cautiously give my trust to these institutions.

It’s a different kind of trust from the trust I give to friends and family. I give trust to those people in my life who have earned it; who have proven to be worthy of trust. To live a life without trust is a lonely venture, one I don’t choose to take.

But there is one person that we can give our complete trust, our God. The psalmist writes – “God showed me the wonders of his love when I was under siege.” (21 NIV) In Psalm 31 God is described as a rock, shelter of presence, a tent, a fortified city. God is a safe refuge and worthy of trust. We have only grasped a minute portion of the wonders of the love God has for us.

Psalm 31 – I Put my Trust

The writer of Psalm 31 speaks of a trap that was set for him. We don’t know the nature of that trap and so can only imagine what it might be. Is there a trap that is set for you? Is your body growing weak from tears or grief? Are you experiencing terrors? Do you feel like a worn-out tool – ruined and useless? Do you find it hard to trust people or institutions? There is someone you can turn to.

Included in this psalm is the passage Jesus quoted from the cross: “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” (5) In the same way, we are called to put our life into God’s hands.

Psalm 31 – I put my trust reminds us that regardless of what we are facing we can always find a safe haven in God. Our God is worthy of trust.


(For another take on this psalm see: Psalm 31 – Those Who See Me, Flee from Me – Patricia M Robertson)

This post is part of a series of blog posts on the Psalms. Sign up to follow this blog and receive a free copy of  Still Dancingthe second book in my Dancing through Life Series.      click here to sign up

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