The Cry of a Heart // Psalm 16

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Psalm 16,

Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.’ The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

It's a beautiful place to be when you know life is hard but that God is good. When a peace that surpasses all understanding envelopes you and provides a calm to the storm. In this psalm, David is seeking refuge. We don't know much other than that, but it's clear he is seeking shelter.

He finds it in God and spends the entire psalm declaring the goodness of God. If anything, this is a psalm that should spur us to hope in the midst of our own difficulty. 

I've recently entered a really challenging season of life and sometimes my instinct wants to pull back from God. He's always been good to me but my flesh wants to blame my problems on Him since He is the one in control. But I fight it because I know God is better than that. I know that God is good, regardless of how I feel about my struggle.

David is in a tough place and instead of having a pity party (unlike I've done a time or two!), he recounts the goodness of God. In verse 2 he says that every good thing comes from God. When I read this I'm reminded of James 1:17 (NIV),

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

This is a verse I memorized a long time ago and one I play in my mind often. I do so because it's a powerful reminder that God is a good Father who wants to take care of me and provide for me. It reminds me that He won't change, but is constantly good. And maybe you need to hear that today. Be reminded that God is a good Father who gives good things and won't deviate from that desire for you.

David then gives us a glimpse into his inner circle--those who are righteous. It's important for you and I in our seasons of distress to surround ourselves with people who will encourage us and point us to Jesus. There are some who will nudge you towards the world and some who will nudge you towards God. So today you must ask yourself--what direction are your friends nudging you in? If it's towards the world, it's time to get some new friends! David would have nothing to do with the desires and practices of the ungodly. It's apparently an important decision to make when things get tough.

Continuing on in verse 5, David proclaims that He is satisfied with God and that he has a full life. That's what the language about inheritance, blessing, and a pleasant land means practically. You might feel like you're missing something in life because of the lack of a job, a dream, a relationship, or finances, but there is an inheritance not of this world that can satisfy you.

David closes out the psalm with a passage that was quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 people were saved (Acts 2:25-28). These few verses pack a powerful punch about security, rest, and abundant life. 

I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Today you might feel discouraged and perhaps you're looking for rest. This passage speaks directly to that place. If you take anything away from today, let it be that God is always good and that even if the world may be shaking around you, you don't have to be shaken because your rest and satisfaction is in Him!

Click the image above to download the free scripture print for this series! It's a great way to memorize an encouraging verse while staying in tuned with the series.

One of my favorite worship albums of all time is one put out by the ladies of the Red Rocks Church worship team. It's 4 songs developed out of their favorite psalms and it's some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard! Click on the album to purchase it at itunes.