Verse 8. Trust in him at all times. Faith is an abiding duty, a perpetual privilege. We should trust when we can see, as well as when we are utterly in the dark. Adversity is a fit season for faith; but prosperity is not less so. God at all times deserves our confidence. We at all times need to place our confidence in him. A day without trust in God is a day of wrath, even if it be a day of mirth. Lean ever, ye saints, on him, on whom the world leans.
Ye people, pour out your heart before him. Ye to whom his love is revealed, reveal yourselves to him. His heart is set on you, lay bare your hearts to him. Turn the vessel of your soul upside down in his secret presence, and let your inmost thoughts, desires, sorrows, and sins be poured out like water. Hide nothing from him, for you can hide nothing. To the Lord unburden your soul; let him be your only father confessor, for he only can absolve you when he has heard your confession. To keep our griefs to ourselves is to hoard up wretchedness. The stream will swell and rage if you dam it up: give it a clear course, and it leaps along and creates no alarm. Sympathy we need, and if we unload our hearts at Jesus' feet, we shall obtain a sympathy as practical as it is sincere, as consolatory as it is ennobling. The writer in the Westminster Assembly's Annotations well observes that it is the tendency of our wicked nature to bite on the bridle, and hide our grief in sullenness; but the gracious soul will overcome this propensity, and utter its sorrow before the Lord.
God is a refuge for us. Whatever he may be to others, his own people have a peculiar heritage in him; for us he is undoubtedly a refuge: here then is the best of reasons for resorting to him whenever sorrows weigh upon our bosoms. Prayer is peculiarly the duty of those to whom the Lord has specially revealed himself as their defence.
SELAH. Precious pause! Timely silence! Sheep may well lie down when such pasture is before them.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. Trust in him, etc. To trust in God is to cast our burden on the Lord, when it is too heavy for our own shoulder ( Psalms 55:22 ); to dwell "in the secret place of the Most High," when we know not where to lay our heads on earth ( Psalms 91:1 ); to "look to our Maker," and to "have respect to the Holy One of Israel" ( Isaiah 17:7 ); to lean on our Beloved ( Song of Solomon 8:5 Isa 36:6); to stay ourselves, when sinking, on the Lord our God ( Isaiah 26:3 ). In a word trust in God is that high act or exercise of faith whereby the soul, looking upon God and casting itself on his goodness, power, promises, faithfulness, and providence, is lifted up above carnal fears and discouragements; above perplexing doubts and disquietments; either for the obtaining and continuance of that which is good, or for the preventing or removing of that which is evil... Trust in him at all times. This holy duty is indeed never out of season; so much the original word for time, t[, imports. True, indeed, our Saviour saith, and saith truly, "My time," i.e., my time of discovering myself to be a wonder working God, "is not yet come." Yea, but all time in respect of trust in God, as an appointed, yea, and an accepted time. The wise man tell us ( Ecclesiastes 3:1 ), "There is an appointed time for every purpose under heaven:" a time to kill and to heal, to plant and to pluck up, to weep and to laugh, to get and to lose, to be born and to die. In all these trust in God is not, like snow in harvest, uncomely, but seasonable, yea, necessary. There may be, indeed, a time when God will not be found, but no time wherein he must not be trusted. Nullum tempus occurit regi, saith the law; let me add, nec fiducae, and it is sound divinity. The time of trusting in God cannot be lapsed. But more expressly. There are some special instances and nicks of time for trust.
- The time of prosperity; when we sit under the warm beams of a meridian sun when we wash our steps in butter and feet in oil; when the candle of the Lord shines on our tabernacle; when "our mountain stands strong;" now, now is the time for trust, but not in our mountain (for it is a mountain of ice and may soon dissolve), but in our God. Halycon days to some are temptations to security, but to saints time for trust...
- The time of adversity. This also is a seasonable time for trust; when we have no bread to eat, but that of "carefulness;" nor wine to drink, but that of "affliction" and "astonishment;" no, not water either, but that of our "fears." Now is a time, not for over grieving, murmuring, sinking, desponding, but for trusting. In a tempest, then, a believer thinks it seasonable to cast anchor upward. Thus did good Jehoshaphat: "O our God; we know not what to do: only our eyes are unto thee." 2 Chronicles 20:12 . Thus David: "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalms 56:3 . Times of trouble are proper times for trust, be the trouble either spiritual or temporal...
At all times.
- Quando: When must we trust? "At what time?" At all times, omni hora, "every hour:" so the Syriac version. As a true friend is to love, so a sound believer is to trust, at all times. Proverbs 17:17 .
- Quamdiu: The duration of this trust: "How long?" "All the day long." Psalms 44:8 . All our lives long: all the days of their appointed time must God's Jobs not only "wait," but "trust," till their change come. Yea, "for ever" ( Isaiah 26:4 ); nay, "for ever and ever." Psalms 52:8 .
Thomas Lye, M.A. (1621-1684), in "The Morning Exercises at Cripplegate."
Verse 8. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him. According to our love, so is our faith and trust in God; and according to our trust, such is our freedom at the throne of grace. Trust in him, and pour out your hearts before him; pour them out, like water, in joyful tears. For when the stone in the heart is melted by mercy, the eyes will issue like a fountain of tears. Good men have melting spirits. It is a branch of the covenant and a fruit of the effusion of the Spirit of grace. It is asserted by the learned in chemistry that no menstruums are so powerful as sulphureous and oily liquors to melt down the hardest minerals; to be sure there is nothing like the oil of mercy, so potent a solvent for an iron heart. Samuel Lee.
Verse 8. At all times. I might mention many times in which we might trust in the Lord, but they are comprised in this little word all, and a precious word it is: Trust in him at all times. When you are full of fears, then you shall bring the little word all unto him, and say, I have nothing to encourage me to come to thee but that precious little word all. John Berridge.
Verse 8. Pour out your heart. The word pour plainly signifies that the heart is full of grief, and almost afraid to empty itself before the Lord. What does he say to you? "Come and pour out all your trouble before me." He is never weary with hearing the complaints of his people; therefore you should go and keep nothing back; tell him everything that hurts you, and pour all your complaints into his merciful bosom. That is a precious word: Pour out your heart before him. Make him your counsellor and friend; you cannot please him better than when your hearts rely wholly upon him. You may tell him, if you please, you have been so foolish as to look to this friend and the other for relief, and found none; and you now come to him, who commands you, to pour out your heart before him. John Berridge.
Verse 8. Pour out your heart. Pour it out as water. Not as milk, whose colour remains. Not as wine, whose savour remains. Not as honey, whose taste remains. But as water, of which, when it is poured out, nothing remains. So let sin be poured out of the heart, that no colour of it may remain in external marks, no savour in our words, no taste in our affections. "I will cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord," Isaiah 19:22 . Thus Hugo. But if you fear lest there remain anything in your heart not poured forth, bring the whole heart, and cast it before the eyes of the Lord, and sacrifice it to him, that he may create a new heart in thee. Thomas Le Blanc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. (first clause). How are we to live by faith on divine providence? T. Lye's Sermon in "Morning Exercises."
Verse 8. (first clause). All trust, from all saints, at all times.
Verse 8. (first clause). Times when this exhortation is most needed. Times of prosperity, of desertion by friends, of calumny, of poverty, of conscious sin, of chastisement, of death.
Verse 8. Pour out your hearts. This teacheth us to deal plainly with God in laying open our hearts before him; and then, no doubt, we shall find ease. Thomas Wilcocks.
Verse 8. (last clause). The peculiar security of the peculiar people.