Psalm 25

Break the Cycle

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord, is in you. 

Psalm 25-16-21

At the end of the Psalm, David acknowledges that he’s surrounded by external and internal afflictions. He’s got enemies and people who hate him. He also has internal afflictions of shame, loneliness, and a troubled heart. David is well aware of his sin and the ways he engages these afflictions, and that acknowledges that it creates more of these internal and external afflictions. So he breaks the cycle. David puts his trust in the Lord. He knows that in his own strength, he’s bound to create more affliction for himself. He also knows that by putting his hope in God and trusting Him to take away His afflictions, God will be faithful. When he prays, “May integrity and uprightness protect me,” it seems to be more out of knowing he needs these from God than out of self-righteousness. We all have ways that we typically face internal and external affliction - maybe we avoid it, lash out, try to fix it, let bitterness take root, hold grudges... and the list goes on. Our challenge for you today is: break the cycle.

Prayer Focuses
  • Lord, I repent for the ways I’ve sought to relieve my afflictions in my own strength and in my own ways.
  • I pray the same prayer David prays in verse 4: “show me Your ways” - for Yours are better than mine.
  • I put my hope in You. I trust that You can take away my afflictions and engage them in good and loving ways because You are good and loving.

Action Steps
  • Read all of Psalm 25 for some more context about what David was feeling in this excerpt.
  • Think about the ways you engage affliction. Where does it come from? Fear? Pride? Shame?
  • Ask the Lord to show you His ways and guide you in engaging your afflictions with your hope in Him.

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