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Have you ever cried out to the Lord hoping he would hear you? Have you ever wondered does God really hear? Psalm 25 indicates that there are those who are confident that the Lord hears them. You can know this assurance.

We love the Psalms because they echo the reality of our own emotions and point us to the truth. In Psalm 25, David lifts up his soul to the Lord in turmoil. He gives us an example of calling out to God with a mature and robust faith.

When our soul is in turmoil, it is not God who needs to change, but us. God wants to work in us through troubling circumstances. He is not a genie or a rabbit’s foot–receiving help from the Lord requires a relationship. David demonstrates the kind of relationship we need to foster with God.

Resolve (verses 1-3)

David resolved to trust the Lord. This resolve results from a robust understanding of God. Theological knowledge came first: David knew and loved the Scripture that was available to him. He called out to “the LORD,” Jehovah, using the special covenant name that God had revealed to His people. David loved God as He revealed Himself, not his own ideas of who God was. We must allow God to speak for Himself–it’s only fair! David also knew God personally, calling Him “my God.” God has provided all that is necessary to know Him.

David asked God to not let him be “ashamed.” The original word doesn’t mean embarrassed as we would understand it, but abandoned. Trust makes us vulnerable if the object of our trust doesn’t come through. We expect anyone with whom we share our soul to stick by us. Fortunately for those who trust Him, God is the only one who has the capacity and ability never to abandon us. He can handle your soul.

David had two fears that can also put our souls in turmoil today.

1. Enemies. Though the enemies of our souls in our context are usually not physical, they are no less daunting. In fact, as we mature in the Lord, we realize how challenging they can be – the temptations of the world (“the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life,” 1 John 2:16) and the forces of the devil. When we struggle and ask, What if I lose faith? God promises never to abandon us.

2. Guilt. Sins of the past can quickly bring regret, shame, and doubt. Where can we find peace? Like David, we must confess truth to ourselves.

David knows that neither of these fears will triumph over him–not because of his strength, but because of his God. We also know that no believer will be abandoned by God because of the nature of forgiveness we’ve received in Jesus Christ.

There are some who will be abandoned by God because they rejected Him. Like Saul, those who rely little on God’s Word and a lot on their own ingenuity will find their souls in turmoil.

Reliance (verses 4-7)

A mature trust relies on the God of the Bible. Jesus said we are totally incapable without Him (John 15:5). David had many options he could have trusted in – courage, armies, talent, power, security. The wise person knows the only reliable one is God and trusts exclusively in what the Bible says.

Regard (verses 8-11)

Unlike the virtual relationships of the social media age, God really knows you. He is good, upright, true, and faithfully loving. God hears when we pray to Him. He is not distracted like we can be. He understands our wiring because He made us! He is the best friend and listener we can have.

Reverence (verses 12-15)

Someone who fears the Lord is always a learner. Reverence for God brings phenomenal blessings.

  • Compatibility – God orchestrates our desires and works through them to accomplish His will.
  • Prosperity replaces anguish.
  • Disclosure – Those who obey God come to know Him. Obedience precedes knowledge.

Verse 11 is the heart of the chapter because it tells why David sought comfort and prosperity for his soul. He called out to God for the sake of the Lord’s name, not that he would feel better. All those who come to Jesus Christ for relief share the same conviction: that their iniquity is great. They know that there is a great solution–the divine pardon freely given to all who admit their own inadequacy and run to hide in Christ. Even great sinners are amazed by this offer.

Application Points

  • David had many other places he could have put his trust. What are you tempted to trust instead of God?
  • Why do you seek “soul prosperity,” for God’s glory or your own comfort? Ask God to make His name your primary motivation.
  • Have you been convinced like David and Paul that your iniquity is great? Have you accepted Christ’s free pardon?
  • Do you know God – theologically and personally? How can you get to know Him better?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • 1 Timothy 1:15-16 – Paul was convinced of his utter sinfulness.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Free from Guilt and Free from Sin”

Dark, the stain I cannot hide;
Stain of sin, my guilt to prove.
Guilt my own, and foolish pride;
Pride, the reason for my sin.

Light of God came shining down;
Son of God, my soul to win,
Laid aside His heavenly crown,
Paid the price for all my sin;
Paid the price for all my sin.

Wash me in the Savior’s blood;
Make me pure, without, within;
Cleanse my heart and set me free,
Free from guilt and free from sin,
Free from guilt and free from sin.

Love of God that lights my way;
Love displayed on Calvary;
Lamb of God my soul to save
Gave His life to set me free!

Gone, the darkness, come the Light:
Gone, the night, the day begins.
Gone, the wrong, my soul made right,
Free from guilt and free from sin;
Free from guilt and free from sin!