Psalm 71

Years ago, I experienced a time of despair and brokenness. In my desperation, I grabbed my Bible and left early for the evening worship service at my church. As I sat alone and waited for the service to begin, I searched my Bible frantically for answers, scanning the Psalms hoping to find words for my heart’s prayer.

One verse stood out.

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71:14

I kept looking.

I didn’t have hope. I didn’t feel like praising. I needed relief.

I wanted a verse to point me to a specific action or a powerful prayer that would resolve my circumstances.


I kept coming back to Psalm 71:14.

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.

As I read this verse over and over, I knew God was speaking to me. It was as if this verse was in English and all the surrounding verses were in a foreign language I could not read.

I have to be honest.
I wanted a different message.
I wanted a guarantee that everything would work out like I wanted it. I wanted to know how long it would take before life returned to the normal I knew before.

The message I truly needed, however, was there in Psalm 71:14.

I felt hopeless, like my life was falling apart.
God’s Word said I could hope anyway, without feeling hopeful. Hope was something I had as a gift from God and could not be destroyed by life’s blows.

I felt crushed by pain.
God’s Word said I could choose to worship anyway.

That night, in my desperation, I chose to act on the truth before I felt it was true.
I hoped anyway.
I worshipped anyway.

It was the beginning of a season of learning to place my hope in God, not in changing circumstances, of learning to worship based on who God is, not how I felt.

My circumstances did not change right away. However, in the months that followed, hope and worship did their work in my heart. My focus shifted. I wanted to grow in my relationship with God more than I wanted relief. Hope and worship became my first response to difficulty, not my last resort.

Now, when I read Psalm 71, I am able to put verse 14 into the bigger context of this prayer for rescue.

I am able to give testimony to the truth of verse 20:

Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.

And I long for verse 18 to shape the purpose of my days:

Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.

Life hurts.
But as for me, I will always have hope.

Bitter troubles come our way, but restoration is possible.
You will restore my life again.

I will choose to worship.
I will praise you more and more.

I will choose to give testimony to God’s strength.
I will declare your power to the next generation.


No matter what happens, these cannot be taken away.

Father, thank You for giving me hope. When life is hard, I will hope anyway. I will worship anyway. You are my rock of refuge to which I can always go. Thank You that You will restore my life again. For all of my days, I will tell others about Your power and goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

psalm 71

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