Read Psalm 62
Featured Verse: Psalm 62:8
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
I was with a good friend recently who had been through a really rough stretch in his life. His world had been rocked, and he had been deeply disappointed by people who had been close to him. Yet he had landed upright, and now is in a really good place spiritually, emotionally, and professionally. In fact, I’d say he is in a better place than before his disappointment. Truly God had been for him a shelter in the time of storm; much like David, he had found refuge in the God who turns bad into good for his children.
I asked my friend, in hindsight, to share with me the biggest take-away from his experience. I thought his response was nothing less than profound. I’ll paraphrase what he said: “I learned that my feelings were simply my feelings. I was hurt, disappointed, but that was okay—those were just my feelings. But I learned not to attach judgments too quickly to those feelings. Though I felt bad, I learned not to say, ‘this is the end of the world”, or ‘those people who did hurt me deserve to suffer.’”
In other words, he learned to detach from how he felt at the moment in the sense that he gave the circumstance time to be reworked by the God in whose hands his life was held. Now in the rearview mirror of life, he is able to assess that painful past in a whole new and much brighter light. The things that hurt and the people who disappointed are now a cause for thanksgiving.
That is what David is doing in this psalm. It is likely that Psalm 62 was written during or shortly after the personal upheaval that he experienced with his rebellious son, Absalom. On the one hand, David is pouring out his feelings to God (Psalm 62:8b)—which is good—but on the other hand, he is placing his faith in the One who is master over both feelings and the circumstances that led to those feelings (Psalm 62:8a&c).
Interestingly, David sandwiches his feelings (“pour out your hearts”) between a statement of trust (“trust him at all times”) and a declaration of faith (“for God is our refuge”). By the way, that’s a great way to master your feelings and bring them under the dominion of God’s sovereign will for your life: Sandwich them between trust and faith! You see, feelings are neither good nor bad—they just are what they are. But we have not been called to follow our feelings. Our feelings, rather, are simply meant to be a reminder, a catalyst, if you will, that in the particular moment of pain, we need to realign our lives by faith and in trust to God’s perfect plan.
So the next time you get an emotional ouch, go ahead and say, “that stinks!” but refrain from attaching a judgment from the hurt too quickly. Take it to God, and yes, pour out your heart, but don’t forget to make a holy sandwich out of it—a trust & faith sandwich!