The Proper Perspective for the Troubled Life

Psalm 39:1-13 – When David was overwhelmed with God’s discipline in his life, he maintained a proper perspective and took it to God through prayer. Don’t talk to everyone else about your troubles while neglecting the one who can fix them.

Psalm 39

39 I said, “I will guard my ways,
    that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
    so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute and silent;
    I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.
    My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

“O Lord, make me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
    Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
    My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
    I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man
    with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
    surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and give ear to my cry;
    hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
    a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more!”

Proper Context (Psalm 39:1-3)

  • Others can tell how authentic your faith is when troubling times come your way.
  • You don’t need to broadcast to the world what needs to be laid before God.

Proper Perspective (Psalm 39:4-6)

  • My life is too fleeting to overwhelm myself with trivial issues.
  • Anxietyincreases when you focus too much on concerns that won’t have a long shelf life.

Proper Hope (Psalm 39:7-11)

  • God can strip anything away from me that attempts to replace him as my only hope. 
  • If God starts my discipline, nothing can stop it but him.

Proper Prayer (Psalm 39:12-13)

  • You can better process the trials of this life if you remember that this isn’t your home.
  • Don’t waste time complaining about what God has done when you could be praying about what he might do.

What could you pray for God to do in your temporal life that has eternal implications?