Psalm 119:73-80 — The Fellowship of Scripture in Suffering

photo credit: Dainis Derics | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Psalm 119:73-80

73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
79 May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
80 May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.

Spend any amount of time in the Psalms and you will quickly identify a theme of suffering. Indeed, the Psalms tell us much about how to suffer well. I wish I could tell you that on this topic they reveal exhortations to hang out with friends, lay on the beach, stay in bed for hours on end, binge-watch Netflix, or drown our sorrows in a favorite food or beverage. But those tend to be our (sometimes unhealthy) responses to suffering, not God’s.

And why is that? Because our typical human responses tend to point us to more of ourselves, which may result in a temporary “forgetting” of our trouble, but ultimately leave us more empty on the other side. Instead, the Psalms point us to more of Jesus and result in a spiritual “filling up,” which enables us to persevere through life’s trials in peace, and even joy.

(Side note: Next time you read through the Psalms, notice how even the literary structure follows this revelatory pattern: The Psalmist often begins his writing in despair, intensely focused on himself and his circumstances. But by the end, he is exalting glory and honor and praise of God’s goodness and love and faithfulness, which results in words of hope, peace, and joy – even though the Psalmist’s suffering continues. This is an instructive model!)

Here’s a bit of personal context on how I come to these verses in particular: As someone who values the comfort and support of my family and close friendships, I found a recent season of suffering even more difficult when my family and I were required to relocate to a new state for a job change. It was during this time that we were also thrust deep into a family crisis, which sent me into a season of depression, anxiety, and heartache unlike anything I had ever experienced.

God had led us out into the deep and I felt excruciatingly alone — separated by hundreds of miles from my family, friends, and church home. It was in this season that God took me through Psalm 119 and showed me that even though my instinct in suffering is to run to my closest confidants, His Word directs me to run to Him. Indeed, it is the fellowship of Scripture that leads to hope, peace, and joy in the midst of suffering.

Notice in this passage how every verse points us to Scripture:

  • Your commands (v73)
  • Your word (v74)
  • Your laws (v75)
  • Your promise (v76)
  • Your law (v77)
  • Your precepts (v78)
  • Your statutes (v79)
  • Your decrees (v80)

And how this fellowship of Scripture leads us specifically to:

  • Understanding (v73)
  • Hope (v74)
  • Faithfulness (v75)
  • Comfort (v76)
  • Delight (v77)
  • Focus (v78)
  • Confidence (v80)

Isn’t “understanding, hope, faithfulness, comfort, delight, focus, and confidence” what we seek most when we are in the midst of crisis; when we are suffering? We search and stumble and try to conjure up these things on our own. And yet, God’s Word is right here, free for the taking, ready to faithfully guide our steps there, every time. Whether we are called out into the deep all alone, or we are surrounded by friends and family for support, how much sweeter will our trust in Jesus become as we step boldly into the fellowship of Scripture in seasons of suffering.


73. Only the Creator can give understanding to the created. God created each one of us and He created Scripture. He knows our needs and He grants us understanding of His Word when we ask Him.

74. When we put our hope in God’s Word, and not in our efforts or abilities or relationships or expected outcomes, then we find joy and peace despite whatever our circumstances. This is one way God uses our suffering to encourage others and to encourage us.

75. God’s law is righteous, and His purposes are holy and just. Therefore, we can trust that even in affliction (suffering), God is faithful to us …

76.(cont’d from 75) … because it is in the hardest of times that we experience His unfailing love for us most profoundly, which He promises us in His Word.

77. We are unable to live apart from God’s compassion on us. He shows us compassion by giving us His Word and enabling us to understand it (see v 73). When we find our delight (our pleasure; our enjoyment) in it and not in the fleeting, temporary thrills and things of this world, then we find life.

78. Those who refuse God’s Word are arrogant — they assert no need for Him — and they will shame us and persecute us without cause. But rather than listen to them and be influenced or persuaded by them, we meditate on Scripture — we keep our focus on Scripture — and we let Scripture guide our every thought, motive, attitude, and action.

79. Although seasons like ours may find us alone in our suffering, we were not meant to stay there long-term. As hard as it may be, reach out. We were designed for community, and in times of suffering, a community of like-minded Believers will be a source of encouragement.

80. Think about what it looks like to observe someone who is pursuing a social cause wholeheartedly. They are sold.out. They read, they learn, they share, they try to convince others to become involved. They can’t get enough. So we must also follow God’s Word wholeheartedly, not picking and choosing the parts we prefer, but reading, learning, sharing … never getting enough. It is only when we follow God wholeheartedly that we can be confident we will “suffer well” according to God’s promises, and in so doing, we will become more like Christ.


73. Am I actively seeking God to give me understanding of His Word?

74. Am I putting my hope in God’s Word; or in my efforts, relationships and expected outcomes?

75. How have I seen my affliction as an expression of God’s faithfulness?

76. How have I seen God’s unfailing love in my affliction?

77. What is the source of my delight (pleasure; enjoyment)?

78. How am I yet arrogant to God’s Word? Where might I be refusing Him? And when others shame me for His sake, what is my response? Where do I turn?

79. Am I actively part of a community of Believers? If not, why?

80. Am I following God’s Word wholeheartedly? What evidence is there of my passion for His Word? How has God’s Word equipped me for a season of suffering? How does my suffering make me more like Christ?


Psalm 119:65-72 — The Nature of Goodness

Psalm 119:65-72

65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.


Throughout the course of our lives, we hear a lot about trying to be good. We are taught the importance of good habits and good manners. We reward our children for good behavior. Entire religions rely on an ability to be good or to attain goodness. Even people without faith claim, though they worship no one in particular, they are still generally a “good” person and, if there is a God, surely he will take notice.

But, as Christians, we reject the notion that our inherently sinful nature is capable of goodness. Rather, we rely entirely on God’s goodness. 

So what is the nature of this goodness that only God can provide?

65. God’s goodness is a promise. God’s goodness is not a fickle emotion. God’s very nature is good and His goodness is His promise to us when we submit our lives to him (as a “servant”).

66. The foundation of goodness is faith. Too often we pursue knowledge and wisdom in an effort to establish belief. But that is not faith. Belief in God — our faith — is the foundation of knowledge and good judgment (which we sometimes call “wisdom”). We must first believe God’s Word is truth and then we will grow in knowledge and wisdom.

67. God’s goodness leads us to obedience. When we choose to sin, we stray from God’s Word. In fact, it is our human nature to do so. But it is by the goodness of the Holy Spirit that are we able to obey it.

68. We learn that God’s nature — and His will — is good by studying Scripture.  This verse tell us quite plainly that God is good. And everything God does or allows is good. When life’s circumstances seem to contradict this truth — in times of hurt, hardship, disease, loss, persecution, and in all of life’s trials — we sometimes tend to abandon God’s Word and instead try to make sense of our suffering on our own. But we will only see God’s goodness — and His good will for us — when we dig deep into His Word and choose to learn from Him.

69. What goodness is not. Those whose hearts are hard toward God and refuse to acknowledge their need for Him (this is true “arrogance”) will mock me, pressure me, aim to hurt me, and try to steal, kill and destroy my beliefs, my will, and my reputation. But even in the face of what goodness is not, I am only able to be strong and remain faithful when my heart is focused on God’s Word.

70.  Goodness delights in God, not man. The result of arrogance is a callous and unfeeling heart. Conversely, those who follow Jesus remain sensitive to sin, to pain, and to suffering — and also to joy, to love, and to peace — by finding our delight in God’s Word, rather than the approval of people.

71. Goodness is being thankful for affliction because it points us to Jesus. What happens when you are looking at something very small — something that is hard to see? You lean closer to it. Why? Because the closer you are to something, the larger it appears.  So, when we are “afflicted” (sick, struggling, or suffering in any way), and it might be hard to “see” Jesus in the midst of our circumstances, we ought to lean closer into the Scriptures. The closer we lean to Jesus, the larger He appears in our lives.

It is in these hardest times of life that we seek God with all our heart because we’ve been driven to a point when we are no longer able to answer or provide for ourselves. And as a result, it is these hardest times when we experience God’s goodness and faithfulness and kindness and gentleness in the most profound way. This is why we can be thankful not just in times of affliction, but for affliction itself, and “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). This is true grace.

72. God’s Law is good. God’s law — and our inability to keep it perfectly as His holiness demands that we do — points us to our need for Jesus (Romans 3:20). And because we are continually pointed by Scripture to God’s goodness as the basis of knowledge and wisdom; of obedience and faithfulness; of gratitude and grace — because of this, God’s Law is more precious to us than any material possession we could ever own.


65. Have I fully submitted every area of my life and will and heart to God? Am I seeking out God’s Word and willingly making changes in my heart and life according to His Word?

66. Do I truly believe God’s promises for me? Am I seeking knowledge and wisdom of myself to justify my belief … or do I believe first and therefore, am growing in knowledge and wisdom of God?

67. Am I regularly confessing sin so I am able to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and obedient to His leading?

68. Am I trying to figure out God’s good will on my own or by studying and learning God’s own Word?

69. In what areas of my heart am I harboring an arrogant heart by refusing to submit that part of my life to God’s Word? How do I respond when others who reject God’s Word come against me? What will be my answer? Will I turn to myself or turn to Scripture?

70. Is my delight in God’s Word or in pleasing other people?

71. Am I able to be thankful, not just in times of affliction, but for the affliction when it comes against me because it drives me deeper into Scripture and closer to Jesus?

72. What evidence is there in my life that Scripture is more precious to me than anything else? If there is no evidence — or little evidence — what do I need to do to change that?


O Lord, thank you for Your Goodness. And thank you for showing me your good nature in Scripture. Thank you that your GOOD plan is that I pursue YOU and then I grow in knowledge, wisdom, obedience, faithfulness, gratitude and grace — rather than trying to achieve those things on my own in an effort to find You.

God, You are good. And You do good things.

Please help me to keep a heart that is sensitive to sin and arrogance, that I might always find my delight in Your Word.

Psalm 119:57-64 – Living Our Faith

Psalm 119:57-64 (NIV)

ח Heth

57 You are my portion, Lord;
I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
teach me your decrees.


It is one thing to learn about faith, read about faith, and talk about faith. It is quite another to live out faith, which is the self-sacrificing commitment that we as Christians are called to follow. This passage of Psalm 119 instructs us how to do that.

57. Jesus – our Savior, our Lord — is our “portion”. Like a “portion” measured out in a recipe, He has been given to us carefully, deliberately, and to satisfy our needs. In response, we commit to obey his Word. Our obedience is a response to God’s gift to us (Jesus). God doesn’t give us Jesus because we are obedient; we are obedient because He is God!

58. We may desire to seek God, but we are unable to seek God with all our heart while we remain in our own nature.  Because our nature is sinful, we do not deserve to seek Him.  But despite this, God has promised to give us His favor (grace) so that we are able to seek Him.

59. Daily, we must look back over our “ways” of the day before and turn away from our path and turn toward the path laid out for us in God’s Word.

60. We cannot delay obedience to God’s Word. We cannot “obey kind of”. There must be urgency in our obedience.

61. It can be easy to be faithful to seek God and obey Him when life is good. But how about when life is tough? When we are pressed in by enemies (persecution, discouragement, job loss, health crisis), then where do we turn? These are the times we will most see Jesus when we seek Him and are obedient to His Word.

62. Our entire lives should be an expression of praise and worship. There is no time, day or night, when we God is not worthy of our praise.

63. There is a special bond between people who love the Lord and follow His Word. These are relationships we should be cultivating.

64. It is so easy to become downtrodden and negative about this world we live in. Surely, there is evil everywhere and “The world” will fail us. But God is good. He has left us evidence of His love for us everywhere. But we must seek Him fully, commit to obedience, turn from our ways toward his ways, urgently follow him, remain steadfast in trials, praise him continually, and love his people. But only He can teach us how to live this way … by His Word.


57. What motivates my obedience?

58. Am I seeking God with all my heart, fully understanding it is only by God’s grace (unmerited favor) that I am able to do so?

59. Am I daily looking back over the previous day and considering how my ways are not God’s ways, turning my steps away from my own path and instead following God’s path?

60. Is there urgency in my obedience? What does it mean to urgently obey?

61. Am I faithful to seek God in both good times and hard times?

62. Do I allow my circumstances to dictate my attitude of praise?

63. Am I pursuing the special relationships between people who love the Lord?

64. If I am having trouble finding God’s goodness, am I fully seeking Him?


O Lord, you are good. You love us so much and we do not deserve it. Lord, please teach me your Word and help me to live it out according to Your ways, every day.

Psalm 119:49-56 – Only God’s Word is Able

Psalm 119:49-56 (NIV)

ז Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws,
and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.


Not every lesson in Scripture is difficult to see or complicated to explain. I found the lessons in this passage of Psalm 119 to be straight forward and direct.

49. God’s Word gives us hope.

50. God’s Word gives us safety.

51. God’s Word gives us self-control.

52. God’s Word gives us comfort.

53. God’s Word gives us desire for righteousness.

54. God’s Word gives us a heart for worship.

55. God’s Word gives us “light” for our path in this dark world.

56. God’s Word gives us a pattern for obedience.


49. Where do I turn to for hope?

50.  What is my source of safety when I feel threatened?

51. How do I maintain self-control when I am under attack?

52. Where do I find comfort?

53. Do I desire righteousness? Am I indignant (or ambivalent?) toward those who forsake God’s Word?

54. What motivates my worship?

55. How do I discern the right path, in the darkest nights of my life?

56. How do I establish the patterns of my life?

I wonder if the reason these lessons are so simple and so clear is because these are the areas of life where we are most tempted to make our own way … to dig from within our own strength. And yet, ultimately, we find ourselves falling short in every way. Only God’s Word is able.


Lord, please help me to come to you and your Word only for my source of hope, safety, self-control, comfort, desire for righteousness, worship, light, and pattern for living.

Psalm 119:41-48 – God Equips Us Because He Loves Us

Psalm 119:41-48 (NIV)

ו Waw
41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
 your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
 for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
 for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
 for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
 for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
 and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
 because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
 that I may meditate on your decrees.


I’m finding a strong theme from the Psalmist in Psalm 119. Because we are a fallen people, we are completely inadequate to seek — and find — God on our own. This acknowledgment leads us to full dependence on God. In Psalm 119:41-48, we see how God does not promise to save us from eternal judgment, yet leave us to fend for ourselves here on earth. Indeed, quite the opposite. God gives us salvation and therefore, He equips us in every way to grow and prosper in Christ — providing for our every need even now.

41. God equips us because He loves us. He gives us salvation from His own holy judgement because He promises to do so when we turn our hearts and lives to Him.

42. When I think of “taunting”, I think of someone in my face — trying to get me to react badly to something. It’s a temptation to get mad or to react in a way that would cause a scene. Ultimately, it’s a person, attitude, action, or circumstance that tempts us to sin.  But the Psalmist says that when we put our trust in God’s Word, He will gives us an answer for those who taunt us — for those who would encourage us to sin.  God equips us with strength against temptation when we put our trust in His Word.

43. It has been said that Secret Service Agents who are trained to spot counterfeit money do not learn their skill from studying the fake stuff. To learn the intricacies and minutiae of every form of counterfeit money to that level of expertise would be nearly impossible.  Instead, they hone their craft by studying the one true currency.  Similarly, this sinful world offers us many counterfeits. “Just be a good and kind person, and you will earn your way to heaven.” “It doesn’t matter what God you believe in, as long as you are trying to be a good person.” “There are many ways to heaven.”  If we put our time and energy and saving hope into these counterfeits we would quickly find ourselves lost in this world.  Instead of putting our saving hope in what the world says God is, we ought to put our hope in what God says He isthis is the truth.  God equips us with truth when we put our hope in His Word.

44. I had to sit and think on this verse for a few minutes to hear God’s lesson for me in it.  It seemed to follow a different pattern than the others. At first, it seemed a simple declaration: “I will obey your law, for ever and ever.” And then it occurred to me: when the Psalmist says “I will obey”, he is declaring his will to obey — his desire to obey.  Sometimes, an attitude begets itself.  The more you do it, the more you want to do it. (This can definitely work in the negative too!)  In this case, I believe obeying God’s Word — and seeing the fruit that grows in our lives as we do so — leads us to an even greater desire to obey God’s Word — no matter what circumstances may come. I believe this Spirit-given desire to obey is what enabled great martyrs of the Christian faith to withstand such tragic and desperate persecution.  God equips us with the desire to obey His Word when we obey His Word.

45. In spite of God’s promises, we often still find ourselves trying to earn our approval from God by our “right-ness” in our words, actions, and attitudes. But God has made it clear that even our best efforts are inadequate to save us from our sin and make ourselves right before Him. Only a heart and life changed by faith in Jesus can save us. Such a saving faith brings spiritual freedom — freedom from the weight of trying to save ourselves with our inherently inadequate efforts. But the Psalm says we must seek Him. We must be intentional and deliberately point our life’s direction toward Him. God equips us with freedom when we seek Him through His Word. 

46-47. Speaking boldly for Christ can be intimidating. It can be scary when others mock us with a harsh word … or even a raised eyebrow of skeptical amusement. But God promises to help us to speak boldly — without shame — for Him when we seek our approval (our “delight”) in Him, instead of the approval of man.  God equips us to speak boldly when we love His Word. 

48. Have you ever gone into Sunday worship and just felt “blah”?  Like your worship was just lifeless, or you were having to make an effort to go through the motions?  We are even inadequate to worship God from our own nature. We must first receive from God in order to give back to God. And we receive from Him when we focus our hearts to read, learn, and apply Scripture daily. God equips us for worship when we meditate on His Word. 


41. A gift is only a gift once received. Have I received the gift of God’s unfailing love for me — His salvation according to His promise?

42. When I face temptation, do I look to myself for strength to resist, or do I receive strength by trust in Scripture?

43. When I am trying to discern truth from the many voices in this world, where do I look? Am I putting my hope in what the world says … or in what God’s Word says?

44. When I am lacking desire to obey Scripture, do I obey anyway? How have I seen obedience give me new desire to obey Him even in the midst of difficult circumstances?

45. When I am feeling spiritually weighed down, do I seek God’s Word to be reminded that Christ accomplished all I need for me on the cross?

46-47. When I am feeling shy or intimidated to share Scripture with another person or to speak about my faith, do I go back to Scripture with love and affection for The Word?

48. How has my dependence for and love for God’s Word transformed my worship?


Dear Lord, thank you for not leaving us alone to find our way through this world. Thank you for equipping us with:

  • strength
  • truth
  • a desire to obey
  • spiritual freedom
  • boldness
  • worship

…all because of your unfailing love for us. Thank you that you promise to save us from your eternal judgment — and to equip us for today — if we put our

  • trust
  • hope
  • obedience
  • direction
  • love
  • focus

…in You alone. Please help us to receive this gift from you fully, each day.

Psalm 119:33-40 – Life Transformed

Psalm 119:33-40 (NIV)

ה He

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.[a]
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.[b]
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.


This passage is a prayer for life transformation. 

33. We are incapable of following Scripture on our own effort. God must teach us to follow Him. Today, He does this through Scripture and prayer, through the Holy Spirit.

34. It is not enough just to know Scripture, we must also understand it. God is not interested in our blind obedience, for that is fleeting and not sustainable. We must also understand Scripture. But we are also incapable of understanding Scripture on our own. Only God gives us understanding of His Word. He does this by his grace (“unmerited favor”). And we have to ask Him (humble ourselves and admit our inadequacy) — only then are we able to obey Scripture.

35. Once we learn and understand Scripture, then we must walk daily in the path of Scripture — we have to apply it to our lives. But again — we are incapable of applying Scripture on our own. We must humble ourselves and ask daily for God to direct our path according to His Word. We willingly claim our reliance on Him and it is there — in following Him daily — that we find our peace.

36. Now that God is teaching us daily, giving us understanding, and helping us to apply that understanding to our daily path — then we begin to be transformed.  First, our heart is changed toward wanting to obey Him. We desire to follow and grow in greater dependence on Him and less dependence on ourselves.

37. Then we actually stop pursuing all those “worthless things” and instead, look even deeper into Scripture for how our life will grow and prosper in Christ, thus starting the cycle again: learn-understand-apply-transform. (Warning: “growing and prospering” in Christ does not look the same as “growing and prospering” in the world — this is a whole separate study and post!!!)

38. God is faithful to fulfill all his promises to us when we seek Him. He transforms us so that others will know Him and love Him too.

39. The world may reject us, but God’s Word is good. His goodness is worth infinitely more than any accolades this world may offer.

40. Our life is preserved into eternity when we are transformed by God’s righteousness. Only God is righteous. Therefore, only God can give righteousness.  We cannot earn it or achieve it on our own. Humbling ourselves and admitting our full reliance on Him for our righteousness is the only way our life is transformed now and preserved for eternity.


33. Am I asking God daily to teach me to follow Scripture?

34. Am I asking God daily to give me understanding so that I can obey it?

35. Am I asking God daily to help me live out my learning and understanding? To walk in the path of Scripture? To apply these lessons and understanding so that I will have peace (“delight”) no matter what my circumstances are?

36. How is my heart being changed? What do I desire? Am I growing in greater dependence on The Lord, or greater dependence on myself?

37. What am I pursuing? Am I pursuing “worthless things” or am I pursuing a life that is growing and prospering in Christ?

38. Do others see God because of how He is transforming me?

39. Am I prepared to face “disgrace” because of following God’s Word? How will I respond?

40. Am I fully relying on God for righteousness or am I still trying to earn it myself?  How is my life being transformed?


Dear Jesus, Thank you for giving me your Word and the Holy Spirit to teach me, give me understanding, and help me to live out your Word every day. Please grow me and prosper me in YOU — not in the world. Please transform my life by your righteousness — on my own. I am so inadequate and unworthy on my own. Only you, Jesus, can change my life and give me peace — for now and for eternity. Amen. 

Psalm 119: 25-32 – In Hardship, Trial, or Pain

Psalm 119:25-32 (NIV)

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.


How appropriate that the passage of Psalm 119 on the anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11/01 would be an encouragement for us when we are in times of hardship, trial, or pain.

25. When we are discouraged or in hard times, our reliance should be on Scripture — we must lean into God’s promises.

26. Go to God with your troubles. In prayer, be intentional about telling Him what is going on. Let it be a personal conversation. “Recount your way” to Him. And then look to His Word for His answer — He will teach you from it!  We do not “recount our way” so that He will know it — He already knows!!!  But rather, so that we will be strengthened and encouraged when we see God’s goodness and faithfulness to us.

27. Come humbly before God, asking for His help to understand the Scriptures. But then, meditate on that understanding — let it sink deep down into your every thought.  Let it transform you in every way.

28. We should expect to be weary and sad at times. There will be hard seasons of life. Our source of strength is Scripture.

29. In times of sorrow, sadness, and trial, we are especially susceptible to sin. By God’s grace, He gives us His Word to protect us and strengthen us. Use it.

30. In these hard seasons, we must choose obedience. But our actions and attitudes begin in our heart, so we must first “set our heart” on Scripture.

31. Cling to Scripture.  Do not let go of it for anything!!!  Picture rock climbing and “clinging” to a hold. You can only cling to one place at a time! CLING to Scripture and nothing else! And then ask God to help you be obedient to it.

32. Be deliberate and determined in your obedience. Do not walk casually in obedience — RUN!!  Our difficult circumstances may continue, but our heart will no longer be weighed down!


25. When I am discouraged, do I look to Scripture for encouragement? Or somewhere else? What am I leaning on?

26. Do I “recount my ways” to God, looking to His Word for teaching for my life?

27. Am I asking God to help me understand His Word and then letting that understanding sink into every part of my heart, mind, and life so it will transform me?

28. When I am weary from hard times, am I seeking strength, endurance and renewal from Scripture? What does it mean to be spiritually renewed, yet physically and mentally exhausted? What is God teaching me by allowing this for me?

29. In times of trial, am I digging deeper into Scripture — not just for my encouragement and edification, but to keep myself from sin?

30. Have I “set my heart” on God’s Word? Is it possible to “set your heart” on more than one thing at a time?  What do I choose?  Do I choose the way of truth in all seasons of life? What does that look like practically?

31. Am I clinging to God’s Word?! And I admitting my natural weakness and asking God to help me be obedient?

32. Am I walking casually in obedience? Or am I running?! Am I “training” daily in Scripture to become stronger and to build endurance for life’s hard seasons?


Oh Lord, how good and kind and gracious you are to have given us your Word. I am sorry for the times that I cling to anything other than your way. Please help me to seek only your Word and to be obedient to it.  Please help me to grow in understanding and application of your ways so that I might run a good race and be an encouragement to others along the way. 

Psalm 119:17-24 – Prayer

Psalm 119:17-24 (NIV)

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.


An exhortation on the tightly woven partnership of Scripture and prayer. In our daily prayer, we ought to ask God to help us:

17. Obey God’s Word. A Prayer of worship that goodness and life come from God, and that only by God’s goodness are we able to obey His Word.

18. Understand God’s Word. A Prayer for help since, apart from God, we are unable to see God’s purpose for us in His Word.

19. Receive His presence in God’s Word. A Prayer for understanding of Scripture so that we would not be alone in this world. God gave us His Word to be our counsel and our companion.

20. Cultivate a desire for God’s Word. As we grow in obedience and in prayer, our desire for Scripture increases. God puts in us a desire for His Word.

21. Intercede for those who reject God’s Word. Walking away from Scripture is rooted in pride — in our fallen hearts that believe we are able to earn righteousness on our own merit. God will ultimately rebuke — turn away — from those who reject his Word. In our love for God and for others, this should break our hearts and fill our prayers. God wishes that none would perish, but that all would be saved. (2 Peter 3:9) May the whole world know Him, know His joy, know His peace. Amen.

22.  Confess how I also ignore God’s Word. There is a distinct connection between keeping God’s Word and being accepted by Him. As we seek to keep God’s Word, the Holy Spirit reveals to us when and where we fall short. Confessing our failings helps us to continue to keep God’s Word.

23. In the midst of persecution, focus on God’s Word. We will be persecuted for being obedient to Scripture. We may be mocked. We may be ostracized. We may be criticized. We may suffer. We may lose relationships. We will go through trials. This is actually a mark of God’s LOVE for us … (Oh, there is so much I could write about this) and God gives us His Word to sustain us. Our rescue, our hope, our endurance is strengthened by keeping our focus on Scripture.

24. Take counsel from God’s Word. God has given us Scripture to counsel us so we will know Him and know His way for us (and His way for us is rooted in his goodness and His love for us). As we grow in Him, obedience is not a burden; it is a delight!


17. Am I praying daily that, by His goodness, God would enable me to obey His Word?

18. Am I praying daily that God would enable me to see and understand His Word?

19. Am I praying daily that God would give me His presence through His Word?

20. Am I praying daily for an increasing desire for His Word?

21. Am I praying daily for those who reject God’s Word?

22. Am I praying daily a confession of how I turn away from Scripture?

23. Am I praying daily for the ability to focus on God’s Word in the midst of trials and persecution?

Psalm 119:9-16 – Scripture

Psalm 119:9-16 (NIV)

ב Beth

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.


9. The Psalmist asks a question – how do I keep my way pure? And then he immediately answers himself (I’m almost expecting a “DUH!” here): by living according to your Word. The rest of the passage tells us how to do that.

10. Seek God in the Scriptures. Use his Word as a way to KNOW him. Don’t go halfway. But ask for help. You can’t know God on your own. He must help you to seek Him.

11. Memorize Scriptures. Hide it in your heart. Take it with you so that when you are tempted to stray from God’s way, it is with you.

12. Learn Scripture. Don’t just read it, study it. Break it down. Find the lessons. Apply it to your life.

13. Share Scripture. Don’t be selfish and keep it to yourself. Tell others what you are learning, how you are knowing God, and how He is changing your life..

14. Rejoice in Scripture! This is God’s Word … to YOU!  Love it! Take joy that God loves you so much he would send us all we need and hold nothing back!

15. Meditate on Scripture. Let it sink deep into your every thought. Consider God’s ways — in every way — instead of yours.

16. Take delight in Scripture. Do it DAILY. Do not neglect Scripture. A plant that is neglected will wither and die. Just like a plant, we need to be “fed, watered, and exposed to the ‘son’ DAILY in order to grow, flourish and produce fruit. If we neglect these regular disciplines even for just a short time, our spiritual health will wither and fade and cease to grow.


9. How am I living according to God’s Word?

10. How am I seeking God? Partially or with ALL my heart? Am I asking God to help me to do that well every day?

11. Am I memorizing Scripture? Am I hiding it in my heart? Am then, am I listening when Scripture comes to me?

12. Am I learning Scripture? Am I really studying it and seeking to learn from it? Am I applying those lessons? (Not just intellectually … but really living them out?)

13.  Am I sharing Scripture with others?

14. Do I REJOICE in Scripture?

15. Do I let Scripture permeate my every thought and meditate on it throughout the day?

16. Am I taking such delight in Scripture that I do it daily? When I neglect Scripture, why? (Go back to verse 10).


Lord, please help me to live according to your Word. Help me to seek, memorize, learn, share, rejoice, meditate and delight in Scripture. 


Psalm 119:1-8 – Obedience

Psalm 119:1-8 (NIV)

א Aleph

1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong
but follow his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.


  1. No one but Jesus is able to be blameless or walk perfectly according to the laws of the Lord. Therefore, the laws of the Lord are meant to show us our “blame” — our inadequacies. Scripture shows us our need for Jesus. When we have Jesus, God sees him when he sees us, and therefore, on Judgement Day, we too will be found blameless, and be blessed.
  2. We become more like Jesus (we are “blessed”) when we obey (actions) and desire him (seek with our heart). Both actions and attitude matter. We must have both. Both are active, not passive. To seek something is to look tirelessly for it.
  3. God gives us the roadmap of his ways in Scripture. His way is not hidden. He shows us his ways we are to follow.
  4. Our obedience must be full. We cannot pick and choose. We cannot partially obey.
  5. We need to desire to be obedient and pray and ask for his help to be obedient.
  6. When we compare ourselves to Scripture (and only to Scripture), we should be convicted of where we fall short.
  7. As we learn more of Scripture, we learn to worship. We cannot worship God apart from following Scripture.
  8. Obeying Scripture requires a decision and commitment … and it requires prayer.


  1. How is this passage today showing me my need for Jesus?
  2. Am I being obedient to Scripture? Am I seeking God? Do I desire Him? How? What’s the evidence? What does it “look like” (practically) for me to seek God?
  3. Am I following God’s way? Where am I not?
  4. Where am I only being obedient half-way? (Or not at all?) What do I need to fully surrender to HIS way?
  5. Do I pray and ask for help to be obedient? Do I desire to be obedient?
  6. What plumb line of righteousness other than Scripture am I tempted to compare myself to? Am I looking to Scripture to convict and correct?
  7. When I find my worship lacking, do I look to Scripture?
  8. Have I made a commitment to obey Scripture and ask God to help me to keep it? Am I trying to be obedient on my own strength?

Key Thoughts Today

  • Obey Him
  • Seek Him
  • Hear Him (Scripture)
  • Worship Him
  • Pray to Him


Lord, help me to seek you with my whole heart and to desire to be obedient to your Word. Please help me to look only to Scripture for conviction and correction. Where I am weak, you are strong. Please help me — moment by moment — to obey your word and walk in your ways.