In continuation of our study of Psalm 31:14-15a (which can be read here), remember that as we looked at the context of this great chapter, we saw David’s despair turn into dependence upon God. We then looked at three things we learn from this passage of Scripture: trust, patience, and cultivating a personal relationship with God. Today, let’s consider three final lessons we glean from David’s beautiful statement.
Even though David’s enemy surrounded him on all sides, we see him handing all of his anxiety and sorrow over to the Lord. Notice that while many would feel the need to be in control when circumstances are spiraling out of proportion, David surrendered his will to God’s. He didn’t turn away and insist, “I can handle this myself”; rather he, like Jesus, “committed himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). A woman who desires to surrender her times to God’s hand realizes that she cannot handle trials and temptations herself — she must give it all to her sovereign King (Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 37:3-7). We all know Philippians 4:6-7, but let the words really sink in: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
David’s convicting declaration clearly shows that he trusted the Lord to bring about what was best for him and knew that He held every piece of his life’s puzzle in His hand. David writes later in Psalm 57:2, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me” and in 138:8, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.” David’s strong faith reminded us of both Mordecai and Esther’s when they stood up for their people (Esther 4:14-16). When faced with challenges in life, who knows that we aren’t in the Kingdom “for such a time as this”? If our times are in His hands, we will be able to confidently declare like Esther, “If I perish, I perish.” We can know the power of God working in our lives because “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
David recognized the value of his “times” because of Who created them. God initiated time when He established the first day and night and called it good (Genesis 1:5,10,14). Over the centuries, our culture has become obsessed with time – appointments, schedules, calendars, goals. As a planner, I will be the first to admit that if something ever goes awry and not as planned, I get thrown off because I like to be in control of my time. But we must learn to trust the Creator of time with our times, who can see our entire life like one big jigsaw puzzle. Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 teaches that “to everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (verse 1). I love this passage of Scripture because it helps us to zoom out and refocus on what really matters. Notice especially verses 11 and 14: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. …I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken away from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.” You may have heard the quote that says, “If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this. You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.” The Lord has given us the freedom to choose whether or not to trust Him with our life, but His purpose still reigns. Whether we are struggling with our jobs, education, career paths, or relationships, do we trust that He cares and has a purpose for our life? We must place our confidence in God’s beautiful, perfect, flawless timing that is never late, and we will never regret it! Our life story will only have a happy ending if we allow the Master Author to write it and trust Him who says, “I make everything beautiful in its time.”
I am so thankful that David prayed this prayer and penned this psalm, aren’t you? More than that though, I am thankful that God saw our need to learn the same lessons that David did so that we can know the same peace and relationship in the Lord. Let us be continually inspired to surrender, trust God’s providence, and give our “times” to Him so that we can say like David, “my times are in Your hand.”