Psalm 40: Organic Devotion

Read Psalm 40:1-17

Organic Devotion

Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.
(Psalm 40:4)

Are you willing to trust the Lord even when it doesn’t make sense? Are you willing to praise him unconditionally? Will you speak of his love and goodness even when on the surface, circumstances would seem to indicate anything but his loving-kindness toward you?

Of course, committed Christ-followers always answer quickly and resoundingly with a “yes!” to those questions. But what happens when, like David, you find yourself in a “slimy pit” (Psalm 40:2), or when the will of God requires painful and costly sacrifice on your part (Psalm 40:6), or when your personal failings have landed you in deep weeds (Psalm 40:12), or when there are those who want to destroy your life and ruin your reputation (Psalm 40:14-15)? What happens then? Are you just as willing to trust the Lord and give testimony to his great faithfulness?

In a very real sense, neither good times nor bad days were relevant to David’s faith, because his life was anchored in something far better: the immutable character of God. As a result, what you witness in David is profound trust in spite of circumstances and unfettered praise in scorn of consequences. Both in private and in public, there was an organic devotion to God that came with no strings attached (Psalm 40:9-10),

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

There have been many spiritual heroes, like David, who have exhibited that kind of organic devotion. One in particular comes to mind, since it was on this very day, February 23, in the year 155 AD, that the 86 year-old Polycarp, an early Church Father who had been discipled by the Apostle John, was burned at the stake. When given the chance to recant before the fires were lit, he said, “Eighty and six years I have served Christ and He has done me nothing but good; how then could I curse Him, my Lord and Savior?”

Now that’s organic devotion! But you might ask: How was Polycarp so blessed, since he was burned to death? Well, Polycarp has been elevated to that eternal cloud of witnesses alongside David, while his executioners have been relegated to the dustbin of history. You see, from this side of life, trust doesn’t always make sense, but from the eternal side, unconditional trusting bears the fruit of eternal blessing.

So yes, blessed is the one who makes the Lord his trust! David was blessed—so was Polycarp. I want to be one of those in the company of the blessed, too! Don’t you?

“There is a God in heaven who over-rules all things for the best;
and this is the comfort of my soul.”

—David Brainerd

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply