Unfailing Hope

Opening Prayer

Lord, “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word” (114).

Read Psalm 119:113–128

113 I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws.

ע Ayin
121 I have done what is righteous and just;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Ensure your servant’s well-being;
do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, Lord;
your law is being broken.
127 Because I love your commands
more than gold, more than pure gold,
128 and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.

Reflect

“When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast” (Ada Habershon, 1861–1918).

What do you do when your prayers to be rescued are not answered? How do you respond when you feel like an alien compared to the people around you, particularly when you are under pressure to act in a certain way? When the psalmist was tempted to give up and give in, he didn’t race to the bottom of his moral choices (121), nor give up on what he knew was right (118). In these verses, the psalmist embodies hope. It’s a hope that worked then and works now. This is a hope anchored in believing in the goodness of God’s character through trusting in the everlasting rightness of God’s Word (116,128). That never gets old.

It’s self-evident that we are impatient compared to God, but it doesn’t stop us longing for answers and promises fulfilled (123). The psalmist refused to give up on waiting on and hoping
in God (114) because he trusted in God’s love for him and in God’s character (124). He also acknowledged that he didn’t see the bigger picture (125).

Fear of God’s judgments acted positively and with preservative power in the psalmist’s life (120), preventing him from just doing whatever he thought and felt like.

Apply

Remind yourself of the promises God has given you in his Word. Write some down where you can see them often.

Closing prayer

Pray the words of this psalm as your own, and let the embers of hope flicker into flame in your heart.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider