Psalm 62 is attributed to David and while it is not attached to a specific event, it speaks of the trials and challenges we know David faced throughout his life. Within its verses, he addresses his enemies, his own people, and his own soul. The song reminds us of the value of preaching truth to ourselves. In our lives, just as all who’ve gone before us, we face opposition, discouragement, disappointment, and despair. In these times it is important to remember who God is and what He has done. Then, with our minds set on things above, we tell ourselves:My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken, (Psalm 62:1-2).
There are two very important words contained in this refrain. God only. There is nowhere else to look for a defender. There is nowhere else to place our hope. There is nowhere else to look for unending encouragement–so long as we find salvation, spiritual growth, and eternal hope encouraging. Everything we long for within our souls, can only be provided by our God who created, saved, and sustains us.
“Our salvation in no measure or degree comes to us from any inferior source; let us, therefore, look alone to the true fountain, and avoid the detestable crime of ascribing to the creature what belongs alone to the Creator. If to wait on God be worship, to wait on the creature is idolatry; if to wait on God be true faith, to associate an arm of flesh to Him is audacious unbelief,” Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David, vol. 3.
When we rely on humanity to provide these needed things, our disappointment will only multiply. When our expectation is that those with whom we collide in work, ministry, and recreation will establish and sustain our identity, we will be discouraged. Especially, when we realize that they are often placing that same expectation on us. Likewise, when we fear man for what he may do or take away, we are ascribing power to the creature that he does not deserve. The writer of Hebrews makes this point when instructing us to find our contentment in the Lord. “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).
What makes the gospel “good news” is that in Christ we have been given a new life, new affections, new hope, and a new purpose. God takes unworthy sinners, and by His amazing grace, He saves them from the wrath they deserve. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, He finds useful things to do with them. What more do we need than that?
There is another phrase in this psalm that is worthy of mentioning. The psalmist instructs his soul to wait in silence for the Lord. When I am troubled by one of life’s many pressures, my inclination is to complain to anyone willing to listen, or any unfortunate person trapped in the same room. This, however, is not how I want to be seen. I have been made new in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), and my desire is for Christ to be on display in my life. Not only when things go well, but especially when they do not.
Colossians 3:1-3 reminds us that our responses to life’s various struggles need to begin with how we think.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
It goes on to list those things we are to “put off” in order to “put on” those things characteristic of our renewal in Christ, (Col. 3:5-17).
When life disappoints us, threatens us, discourages us, or tempt us to anger, we must remind ourselves of who we are in Christ. The apostle Peter, in his first epistle, reminds us that the blessings we have in Christ, this “imperishable inheritance,” far exceeds the various trials we face, (1 Pet. 1:6-9). And, as those “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2), we are called to holiness–set apart from the world in how we think, talk, and act.
By remembering who God is, we are able to remind ourselves of who we are in Christ. He has set us apart so that we can, with boldness, proclaim Him to those desperately in need of a Savior.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Peter 2:9).