Final thoughts on Psalm 40:1-5
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered. NKJV
Are you experiencing any burdens in your life? Are you having health problems, dealing with injuries, or have you lost a job or source of income? Are your bills and debts mounting? Or perhaps you’ve lost a loved one. Or maybe you’re experiencing animosity from others toward you on your job, or having conflicts with relatives. Or it may be that you’re struggling with a particular sin (or sins) in your life. If so, how do you dealing with these burdens are weighing your down? In our text, the Lord gives us three lessons on responding to burdens in our lives.
First, we need to take our burdens to the Lord in prayer and wait patiently on Him (v.1). As Christians, the Lord does hear our prayer for help (Psa. 9:10, 34:15, 86:7, 91:15), but He doesn’t always answer the way we would have Him answer. Often His answer is “yes,” but sometimes His answer is “no,” and in some cases, His answer is “wait awhile,” but be assured Christian, that no matter what His answer may be, He does hear and answer your prayer in a manner that will be in your best spiritual interest (Rom. 8:28). The Lord will deliver us from troubles in His time—not in ours—and so we must learn to wait patiently on Him (Psa. 37:7, Lam. 3:26, Isa. 40:31). The Lord always delivers His people through Christ, the Rock of our salvation (v.2, I Cor. 10:4, Isa. 28:16, I Pet. 2:6, Jn. 10:14, Psa. 23, Heb. 13:5-6). The “miry clay” of verse two refers to quicksand. Are there burdens that are bogging you down? Look to the Lord Jesus Christ to lift those burdens (Heb. 12:1-2, Matt. 11:28). We will be blessed if we put our trust in the Lord (v.4), not in our physicians, our source of income, our money or bank accounts, or our own strength, skill, cleverness, ingenuity, education, or wisdom. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
Second, we need to praise the Lord and let others know how He has removed our burdens. Far too often, we are focused intently on the Lord when we are going through trials and carrying the weight of burdens, but then, when the Lord lifts our burdens, our gratitude and praise is very fleeting. We are like the nine out of ten lepers that Jesus healed in Lk.17:11-19 and who never bothered to thank Him. The Lord has blessed us in innumerable ways (v.5). Do we praise Him for it, and share with others all the blessings He has showered upon us (Psa. 105:1-2)?
Third, if we trust in the Lord, we will persevere even under burdens (v.4). If we trust in the Lord, we will keep our integrity, will not compromise our Biblical principles and convictions, and we will not choose to sin to alleviate our burdens. We won’t take jobs that are unethical or immoral no matter how much they pay. We won’t go against our Biblical convictions no matter how much pressure our classmates, our relatives, our co-workers, or even our bosses may put on us. If we trust in the Lord, we will continue to keep His commandments and do what is right in His sight—no matter how heavy the burdens—knowing that He will give us the strength to carry those burdens, and we will rest on the promise that He will, in His perfect timing, remove those burdens.