**O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. ** Psalm 31:23,24
Psalm 31 ends with 5 encouragements and a warning. Can you see them?
The warning is for the proud. It says, WATCH OUT!! Let go of our pride before the LORD has to do something about it! In order to avoid that God has to deal with us in a most painful way, let’s leave our pride by the wayside and instead learn more about the humility and meekness of Christ.
More to our liking, let’s take a quick look at the 5 encouragements.
Love the LORD
He watches over us
Be brave and courageous
Wait on the LORD
Remember that we have often commented on how neither David’s life nor his faith was flawless. Sometimes his trials got the best of him. He stands in his faith and then doubts in the darkness. But what I like most is that before the end of his trial he is back on his feet and trusting and believing again in the God who made him king.
That’s why I believe that he encourages us to not give up. To be courageous. David has seen God fight for him in all kinds of circumstances. And his faith was strengthened each time. And now he wants that for all who believe in his God. He wants us to stand even stronger than he did because we have his life story to encourage and give us hope for our own.
Again, the Psalms were not written on a whim in 5 minutes. They are a chronicle of the mountains and valleys of David’s personal life and walk with the LORD. They are a reflection of a sincere, vulnerable, transparent man with many weak areas. He was not ashamed to show that his faith was not complete, that it was continually being tested and needed to grow.
He went through troubles just like you and I. He believed, trusted, doubted, was joyful and discouraged. He was human. He was not a Super Christian.
That’s why he tells us to be of good courage. A phrase that is repeated to just about every leader in the Bible. Everyone, no matter how strong or powerful or skillful they are or were had doubts and discouragement. Why do we think we will be any different?
The LORD will strengthen our heart…..little by little, trial by trial, need for need….We shouldn’t give up…help is coming! Let’s not throw in the towel in the valley. There is still a mountain to climb and conquer! And we will not do it alone…for the LORD preserveth the faithful! God will complete his work in each of us!
His work is not finished in any of us until the day we go to live with him for all eternity. Even in that moment, in the transformation from mortal to eternal, there is growth!
So, watch out for signs of pride and self-sufficiency.
Then love the LORD, He will watch over you, be courageous–keep going even when you don’t want to–He will make you stronger–your hope is in Him, not in this world.