137Righteous are You, O LORD; upright are Your just decrees.
138You have appointed Your testimonies in righteousness, and in much faithfulness.
139My zeal consumes me, because my foes have forgotten Your words.
140Your promise is well tried, and Your servant loves it.
141I am small and despised, but I do not forget Your precepts.
142Your righteousness is righteous forever, and Your law is truth.
143Trouble and anguish have found me, but Your commandments are my delight.
144Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding, that I may live.
The psalmist is committed to the proposition that YHWH is just and faithful in all that He does. Even when there is trouble and anguish that comes upon him, he affirms that whatever YHWH says is faithful and true (138). He has, for some time, walked in the discipline of the faith. He has “tried” the promise of God quite thoroughly (“well,” מְאֹ֗ד, 140), and loves it still. There is no trouble that can dissuade the psalmist from clinging to YHWH’s commandments; on the contrary, he finds great delight in them, and this forms a great contrast to the darkness that surrounds him. He trusts that YHWH’s testimonies are forever, and that they give him understanding and life.
Some days, you can feel God’s faithfulness. Other days, you can’t feel anything but the trouble and anguish around you. Which is real? Which can be counted upon? The servant of God knows that His ways are unchanging, and that His precepts are true regardless of how dark it is around us. The servant of God continues to walk in the promise of God, regardless of circumstance, because it is in God’s word alone that he finds consistency and solace. Over time, trusting in God’s promise brings delight—it brings delight both when we consistently affirm it in darkness, and when it is brought to fruition, banishing the darkness. The habit of trust in all circumstances gives us understanding, which gives us life. Those who do not have this habit of trust live dead lives; they cannot find meaning or purpose, and are wracked with bitterness over the anguish and trouble that rains into all of our lives. But the servant of God has learned to trust, and finds delight in the way of faith.
Whatever you are going through this day, know that your only real responsibility is to trust Him. Believe His promise: “try” it thoroughly. Commit yourself to the discipline of the habit of faith—believing His word, no matter how strange it may sound in a given circumstance. When you commit yourself to this faith, trouble and anguish are contextualized and given meaning—they are secondary characters in the play that is your life, rather than main characters dominating the action. God’s faithfulness in your life is the driving force of your delight and your purpose for living. This is the way of God—the way of faith. Will you join the family of Christ in this way?