“O Lord, I will trust in you” (Psalm 55:23). This is the last line of a psalm full of the pain of the betrayal of intimate friends. You may have heard someone say, “I have trust issues.” Maybe you can say that about yourself, because of experiences like those expressed by the psalmist in this psalm. Trust is one of the most important virtues in any relationship, but because of sin it is often broken.
The pain of a broken trust can seem insurmountable in the immediate moment, especially without a profound faith in God. The psalmist here has not only been betrayed by his intimate friends, but has also been ostracised from the community. His prayer is full of his pain. He is rocked with grief from the injustice of their betrayal and the feeling of being alone. His former friends now heap all kinds of troubles on him and he experiences real fear. Like ourselves in similar situations, he wishes that he had wings so that he could fly away and be safe from all of this unjust suffering. He sees violence and strife all around him, treachery, oppression and fraud seem to be everywhere. Does the description of his physical and emotional environment sound familiar? It could be a description of our own times.
But what stuns the psalmist the most is that the present pains he is suffering are not due to a recognized enemy, but are caused by one he counted as a dear friend, a friend with whom he had entrusted his life, but who has now turned against him. Is there any greater pain? Many of us have experienced the pain of such a broken trust and it has caused us to go through the range of emotions that the psalmist describes here in his prayer. His pain and fear soon turns to anger, then thoughts of revenge, but his faith is deep enough that he calls on the Lord, gives it all over to God to bring about the most righteous justice in the matter. This is the important take-away for us in reading and praying over this psalm as well. We must let go and let God.
“Cast your care upon the Lord, who will give you support. He will never allow the righteous to stumble” (verse 22). Though even our closest friends may break our trust, we can always count on the infinite, unbreakable trust of the Lord. He will never do us harm, never abandon us. Indeed, he will protect us and defend us and strengthen us when we are abandoned and threatened by those who wish us harm. God’s justice is truer and greater than any of human design. We can take the psalmist’s example as a guide here too. We can turn to God for help in prayer when we find ourselves overwhelmed by the suffering that comes from a broken trust. From the perspective of the New Testament, the best thing we can do is to ask God for the grace of a mature love that is able to forgive in our hearts those who have broken our trust. And pray for the courage and the moral character to never break the trust of a friend ourselves. Let go. Give your pains, your fears to God and he will set you free from these things.
Lord, We put our whole trust in you, knowing that you will always be faithful to those who do your will. Deepen our faith, give us the wisdom to turn to you when we are overwhelmed by our pains, our angers, or thoughts of revenge. In you alone do we find the peace and the hope our hearts desire. Help us to recognize that you are always with us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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