Do you remember the children’s song from many years ago called Why Worry When You Can Pray? Well, that’s pretty much from where I adapted the title. Worry is something that affects each of us on some level. For some folks, it’s not a big deal, but for others, worry can drive you to insanity! I tend to be near the “insane” part of the spectrum rather than the “calm” side, but this is something that the Lord is working on in my life. The first part of finding emotional and/or spiritual healing is in admitting that you are broken and in need of fixing. If you continue in denial, you will never find the peace that God desires for your life.
In Philippians 4:6-7, we find the command not to be anxious about anything. This is way easier said than done, but when we allow God to take over our worries and cares, he replaces them with his peace. In fact, verse seven tells us that it is his peace that surpasses understanding which is able to guard our hearts and minds through Christ. Think about David when he penned Psalm 51 after sinning with Bathsheba—he admitted he was a mess. He was a sinner and he needed to be healed and to have the joy of his salvation restored (Psalm 51:12).
If you read the entire text of Psalm 30 (on which I have based this article), you will likely pick up on the fact that it is bookended by verses whose theme is worship. In verses one and twelve, praise is given to the Lord. Our worship is not dependent upon any situation, but rather on the character and nature of an unfailing, unchanging God who is worthy of praise. Whatever is causing you to worry must be placed in the capable hands of Jesus in order that you can experience his peace. I must admit, I am not good at doing life, but when I realize that the Holy Spirit indwells me and wants to drive, I can relax a bit and allow him to guide me safely through. Focus on worshiping rather than worrying.
I think you would all agree that we live in a very narcissistic society. (That’s my expert opinion and I think it’s the best!). Most people only care about their inner circle of friends: Me, Myself, and I. Get ready, because I am going to let you in on something that very few people know to be true: life isn’t all about you; nor is it about me. We were designed to bring glory to our Creator and Savior. We were made for his enjoyment and fellowship with him. But for some reason, we attempt to build our own kingdoms and forget about the one whom life is all about.
Even David, who according to the Bible was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), had issues of self-reliance. Each of us deals with that and the more we depend on ourselves, the more miserable we will become. In verse six of Psalm 30, David felt pretty secure in his own strength, yet his own power toppled as he became too self-sufficient. In verses seven and eight, we see that David became troubled and ended up crying out to God, who was the only remedy in his affliction.
Now I want to direct your attention to something very significant: the holiness of God. Whenever we get a glimpse of how holy our Lord is, we will inevitably become less arrogant and actually see ourselves for what we truly are: broken people who are dependent upon the One who alone is perfect. No matter how successful you may be, never forget that it is only by God’s grace that you belong to him and the reason anything good has even happened to you at all! We belong to him and when we really grasp that truth, we will become less focused on self, and then we will be prepared to worship him unhindered.
Psalm 30:8-12 nicely divide into two sections. The first “Section One” is subtitled “The Petition” and it covers verses eight through ten. Verse eight is pretty self-explanatory as it records that David cried out to the One against whom he sinned. He called out to God for the fact that he had ever tried to go it alone and also because he knew he was wrong. The most probable instance of the writing of this Psalm 30 was due to the fact that David had disobeyed God and proceeded to number the people, after God clearly told him not to do so (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21).
In verse nine, we see that David is eager for another chance to praise the Lord and declare his truth—because dead people can’t do that. Are you thankful for redemption? Are you grateful for restoration? Are you glad that we serve the God of second chances; and third; and fourth; and five thousandth? In verse 10, we read how David cried out to the Lord and appealed to his mercy and ability to help.
Section 2: “The Praise” (vv. 11-12)—Obviously God showed up because in the closing verses of this brief psalm, we hear David worshiping and praising God for turning his mourning into dancing; for replacing the sackcloth of mourning and remorse with gladness and forgiveness.
We know that David was a skilled musician, but even if you are not, please don’t let that stop you from carrying out verse twelve in your own life: let your soul sing praise to the Lord and do not remain silent. The Lord is our God and forever we will give thanks to him and praise him. Aim not only your petitions but also your praises to the Lord, for he alone is worthy!
I encourage you to read the entire Psalm 30 and focus on God and your praise of him:
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
7 By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
9 “What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!