In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.2 I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
~Psalm 25:1-3 (New Living Translation)
“I totally trust you, God. Well, kinda.” That’s how I interpret the first part of Psalm 25. I love this Psalm (and so many of the Psalms, really) because there is so much humanity found in its verses. In the beginning David, the author, makes this bold proclamation about how much he trusts the Lord.
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”
Notice how David doesn’t just come right out and say “I trust you, God.” If the sentence were written that way, then David would be the subject of the sentence. I’m taking you back to middle school grammar lessons, I know; but the devil is in the
details sentence diagramming. (Not to pull the devil into this, but you know what I mean). David’s devotion to God is such that he makes God the subject and the focus of the verse. In you, God, I trust. And I think that this sentence structure, as insignificant as it may seem, is an exact example of the posture and attitude that we have to take in trusting God. He is the focus–not the thing we’re trusting him about, or praying to him about. Just like David, we should make God the sole focus of our trust.
“I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame…”
He says the same thing again, “Lord, I trust you.” It’s almost like he’s trying to convince himself. He repeats this phrase so many times in this Psalm. And therein lies the humanity in what he’s saying. It’s not always easy to trust God. Sometimes it’s downright frightening. Sometimes we have to repeat it out loud to God, to ourselves and to the people around us–over and over, until we believe it. I mean, essentially we fake it ’til we make it, right? If our trust can start with just the simple act of boldly expressing our belief, God will give us the strength to confidently believe him and believe that he is at work in our lives. Even if it takes us a little while to fully engage with this thought and fully and completely trust God (it took David a lifetime of this, and a full 22 verses here), God sees our efforts and is pleased with our earnest attempts to trust him completely.
Now comes my favorite line of these first two versus: “do not let me be put to shame.” This is my favorite line because it’s just so real. “I trust in you” is a statement of confidence. David knows who his God is and what he’s able to do. David is proclaiming his confidence in God’s ability to take care of him. But in the same breath, David almost pleads “don’t let me be put to shame.” If the confidence of the first phrase had followed through the entire sentence wouldn’t it read more like “I trust in you; I know that I will never be put to shame”? But it doesn’t read that way. Instead, David’s words reflect what I think is closer to our everyday experience: we trust God…kinda.
“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame…”
Jesus calls us to trust in him (See, e.g. John 14:1). Trusting God means acknowledging him and asking direction regarding major decisions in our lives, obeying him when we feel that he is speaking to us or telling us what we should do. Trusting the Lord also means that in tough situations, we believe that he has our back and that he will protect us and see us through the challenges that arise in our lives. He wants us to trust him wholly and completely. Getting there, to the point of complete trust is where the hard work takes place, especially when we face major challenges in our lives.
This Psalm and these two little versus show us that it’s okay, and normal, to trust God, kinda, so long as we’re continuing to move towards trusting God totally. Each day provides us with an opportunity to trust God a little bit more–with our money, our jobs, our parenting decisions, even our interactions with others. And as we continue to trust him more, he will continue to show up and show us his will for our daily lives. Before we know it, we will have become verse 3 David and boldly proclaim, “[n]o one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame.”