Read Psalm 25
We preacher types like to use what we call “mnemonic devices” in order to communicate biblical truth in a memorable way. Sound dangerous? It really isn’t! It simply means we love to find verbal ways to help people connect with the content of our teaching. For example, we love to have all of our points start with the same letter(s).
To my relief and, perhaps to your surprise, mnemonic devices are not new. You see, Psalm 25 represents an “acrostic psalm.” Though invisible to us, each verse begins with the next successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. But these poetic words were written as David found himself face-to-face with adversity.
That’s right, David experienced opposition from King Saul, his son Absalom, and from countless armies. As he wrote the lines of Psalm 25, his enemies had increased in number. As a result he felt alone, afflicted, and anguished. His heart was troubled and he even feared for his life. (See vv. 16-20.)
Relational tension can cause us to experience that full range of emotions and thoughts! Are you experiencing any of that now?
So what did David do in the face of opposition and personal anguish? Here are a few steps he took that are worthy of our application as well:
1. He sought forgiveness from God (vv. 7, 11). When another person’s sin seems obvious, we can sometimes forget to ask what sinful contribution we may have made to the tension. Don’t allow the intensity of the sin of another justify or blind you to your own! Confess your own sin to God!
2. He committed himself to integrity and uprightness (v. 21). Shortcuts and potshots are easily justified when we find ourselves in the crosshairs of the enemy. But, instead of shortcuts, David asked the Lord to reveal His paths and to guide him in His truth (vv. 4, 5, 12).
3. He clearly asked for deliverance (vv. 2, 20). Even though there are spiritual benefits derived from adversity (Js. 1:2-4), there is no shame in asking God to bring it to an end! Don’t be afraid to specifically ask Him, but remember that His timing is sometimes different from yours!
What relational tension or personal trial are you experiencing now? Look back over the three principles from Psalm 25. Take time to apply those to your experience!