Psalm 119:81-88

Return to Menu

GOOD MORNING! Trouble and affliction do come to the LORD'S people. The damp winds of adversity do go through our defenses. Tribulation does break through our canvas covers. Floods of grief and bereavement sweep over our souls, and all the barriers of courage and fortitude cannot keep them out!
The Scriptures of truth inform us, "In the world ye shall have tribulation."[1] When our LORD spake of the interval between His ascension and return, He said that the conditions would be so severe that, "except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened."[2]

Yes, all who believe on, trust in, and depend on the LORD, must experience trouble, distress, peril, sorrow and heartache. Those truly trusting in the LORD know that the God of all grace has an eternal purpose that cannot be thwarted by these things. In fact, all of these things “work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."[3]

One of our LORD'S explanations of these things is given in Romans 5: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."[4]

We have come to a portion of the great Psalm that is filled with tears. For the Psalmist it is the midnight of suffering. It is the hour of pain and bereavement from the pressures of the enemy's persecution. "My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth."[5]

Scripture provides a precious word of encouragement for such times of distress, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. … Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator."[6]

The Psalmist writes that he is encouraged and undergirded: "I hope in thy word. … I do not forget thy statutes. … All thy commandments are faithful. … I forsook not thy precepts."

O the multiplied blessedness of true faith in God! "For by it the elders obtained a good report. … But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."[7]

A petition concludes this portion of the Psalm: "Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth." Did you notice? It is not a plea for relief from the pressure, but for strength to be an overcomer in the conflict.

The Psalmist desires that the LORD his God be exalted in and through his life. When the saints in the early church were threatened and whipped, they prayed like this: "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,"[8]

When the saints are revived in their spiritual lives, they are out of reach of their assailants. Let the inner life, the spiritual life, be vigorous, and all is well in the conflict. "And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight:" [9] … For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall."[10]

Heavenly Father, let it be heart-work with Thy servants, - hearts that are made strong by Thy grace.

There's a royal banner given for display To the soldiers of the King;
As an ensign fair we lift it up today, While as ransomed ones we sing.
Tho’ the foe may rage and gather as the flood, Let the standard be displayed;
And beneath its folds, as soldiers of the LORD, For the truth be not dismayed![11]

“All thy commandments are faithful."


[1] John 16:33
[2] Matthew 24:22
[3] Romans 8:28
[4] Romans 5:1-5
[5] Psalm 119:81-88
[6] 1 Peter 4:12-13,19
[7] Hebrews 11:1,6
[8] Acts 4:29
[9] Leviticus 26:8
[10] Psalm 18:29
[11] From “The Banner of the Cross" by Daniel W. Whittle

Return to Menu