Hope in God (Psalm 131) - Radical

Hope in God (Psalm 131)

“Oh Lord, my heart is not lifted up. My eyes are not raised too high. I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me, but I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Oh Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.”
(Psalm 131)

What a great Psalm. Oh, there’s so much to meditate on here. Just don’t miss the big picture. This Psalm is saying, my heart is not raised too high. My heart is not lifted up. My eyes not raised too high. Occupying myself with things too great, too marvelous for me. There’s so many things we don’t understand, big theological things. We don’t understand the depths of who God is, His sovereignty, His power, His beauty, His holiness, His justice, His mercy.

There are limits to our understanding of God, but we humble ourselves before him. Even as we long to know him more, we are humble before him because for the next 10 billion years because His glory is infinite, we’ll still be discovering more and more and more. So we’re humble before him, and not just when it comes to big, theological realities about who God is, but His mysteries of how He works in the world, why this or that happens around us or this or that happens in our lives.

Lord help our souls to be calmed and quieted as we hope in You, knowing that in You we find rest for our souls.

There’s so many things we don’t understand. Now that could lead us just to worry, anxiety, frustration, but that’s not where it leads the Psalmist. In verse two he says, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” There’s all these things I don’t understand, but my heart is at rest like a little baby with its mom just resting there. That’s the picture.

How is that possible? How do you have rest? How do you have peace and calm and a quieted soul when so much you can’t understand or see or you wrestle with? Well, here’s how. Verse three, “Oh Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.” That’s how to have a calm and quieted soul through hope in God, through trust in God and His goodness and His greatness on behalf of His people, on behalf of all who trust in Him.

So we pray, Oh God, there are indeed we confess so many things that we don’t understand, that we can’t comprehend and we find ourselves like the Psalmists often do. A third of the Psalms are laments asking why? Why this? Why that? Where are you in this way or that way? There’s some things we don’t understand, but God, in the middle of our suffering, in the middle of our struggles, we praise you for the calm and quiet we can find resting in your arms, resting in who we know you are, what we know about your goodness and your grace and your love and your mercy together.

I just pray that over people right now who are walking through all kinds of things. God, I pray that in this moment they would find their souls calmed and quieted before you. God, I just pray for a supernatural rest to come over people who are listening to this right now, who are walking through difficulties, who are walking through challenges or walking through questions. God, I just pray. I pray for a hope in you to bring rest to their souls.

And we know that in you our hope is well-founded because you are loving, you are gracious, you are merciful, you are kind, you are just, you are Holy. You are all these things and you have sent your Son to pay the price for our sins so that we can know you, that we can have life in you, that we can trust you with all our heart and not lean on own understanding. And you will make our paths straight. And so all our hope we say is in you as we rest our souls in your presence and your power and your goodness in what we know about who you are. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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