Psalm 39:1-2 ESV
“I said, ‘I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute and silent;
I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.’”
It takes much wisdom and discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit to know when to speak, and to whom, and when to keep silent. For there are times when we definitely should speak and there are times when it is best that we don’t.
For, sometimes we are silent when God is saying to speak, and perhaps we are silent out of fear of what others may say to us or about us, or because we are worn out with people fighting against us. Or perhaps we are losing friends and we don’t want to lose friends.
But then there are those times when we need to put a muzzle over our mouths and not speak because what we plan to say would not be for the good of others, but it would just be us venting, and that helps no one. Or else what we want to say would harm others.
But sometimes when we need to speak, but we don’t, but we remain silent, perhaps to avoid conflict, then we are not at peace because we know deep down inside that we are supposed to say something, and so we can’t get away from that.
Psalm 39:3-6 ESV
“My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
‘O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!’”
It is not good to let things bottle up inside us with no release, for they are bound to come out in one way or another, and sometimes that is a bad way, not a good way. So, we need to be aware of our emotions, and daily be talking with the Lord about them.
Sometimes we may need to cry or to laugh or to have some sort of an emotional release that is healthy and that is not harmful to ourselves or to others just to release the pain of what we are going through. And, then we need to talk it all through with the Lord.
Sometimes, too, we need to pull away from a situation and get alone with God, if that is possible, like taking a walk or finding a place of solitude and quiet where we can hear God speak to our hearts. And, then we need to pour it all out to him, and then let him counsel us in what to do.
Psalm 39:7-11 ESV
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
Remove your stroke from me;
I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
When you discipline a man
with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah”
It is always good, in all of our situations, to acknowledge, not just with our lips, but with our hearts, that our hope is in God. We must never lose our hope in the Lord no matter how bad things get in our lives or in our nations or in the world.
Perhaps you have sinned against God, and so you are coming to the Lord in confession and in repentance, asking him to renew and to restore you in your walks of faith in him, in humble surrender to his will for your lives, and in obedience to his commands.
Or, maybe what you are going through is a time of physical illness, and you are wanting him to lift the illness from you and to restore you to good health so that you can return to doing what he has called you to do, but which you have been unable to do while you are ill.
Or, it could be that you are being persecuted for your walk of faith in Jesus Christ, and so the enemy is hotly pursuing you, and so you have been silent when you needed to speak, and so you are calling on God to deliver you from that oppression.
Whatever it is you are going through, talk it through with the Lord. Don’t let it eat away at you inside. Don’t gossip and vent to others, but let the Lord be your counsel. Then, let him fill you with his peace, and then obey whatever it is he shows you to do.
Psalm 39:12-13 ESV
“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers.
Look away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more!”
Some things are so bad in our lives that they occasionally or frequently bring us to tears. It is good to cry it out to the Lord. It is good to release the pain to the Lord in prayer. And, if our hearts are in the right place, he hears our cries. And he will answer.
This world is not our home. We are just passing through. So, yes, we are not going to be accepted by the worldly if we are truly walking in holiness and in righteousness in the power of God. We are going to be hated, rejected, and persecuted. And it does hurt!
But Jesus is our healer. So, we need to bring all our hurts and all our pain and suffering to him and lay it at his feet and trust him to heal our hurts. But we have to submit to him, too, and we must do what he says to do, if we want to find healing.
If we are willing, and if we will submit ourselves to his sovereignty over our lives and accept his divine will and purpose for our lives, we will find healing which is not dependent on our circumstances, but fully on the hope we have in Jesus Christ. And one day soon he will take us home to be with him.
Sing to Me of Heaven
Songwriters: Ada Powell / Benjamin Burke Beall
Sing to me of Heaven, sing that song of peace
From the toils that bind me it will bring release
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so
Showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow
Sing to me of Heaven, as I walk alone
Dreaming of the comrades that so long have gone
In a fairer region ‘mong the angel throng
They are happy as they sing that old, sweet song
Sing to me of Heaven, tenderly and low
Till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go
When my heart is weary, when the day is long
Sing to me of Heaven, sing that old, sweet song
Sing to me of Heaven, let me fondly dream
Of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall
Sing to me of heaven, sweetest song of all
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