Psalm 62: Lessons for Waiting on God During Times of Trouble

Introduction: How does a believer wait for God to act when evil feels ramped, and the trials are ongoing? Psalm 62 contains David’s Spirit-led words of wisdom to help believers wait for God to act during times of trouble. Pastor Steven Cole points out that Psalm 62 is so important for a believer’s daily challenges that it was once recited every day in many early churches: “John Chrysostom (347-407 [A.D.]) wrote ‘that it was decreed and ordained by the primitive [church] fathers, that no day should pass without the public singing of this Psalm.’ He also observed that ‘the spirit and the soul of the whole Book of Psalms is contracted into this Psalm’ (citation omitted). In fact, many ancient churches had the practice of beginning the singing of the Psalms at each Sunday service with Psalm 63, called the ‘morning hymn.’”1 In Psalm 62, the Bible reveals seven lessons to help you wait on God during your trials. These include: (1) patience, (2) dependance, (3) prayer, (4) hope, (5) trust, (6) Spirit-mindedness and (7) faith.

First, without demanding an answer, David professed that he would wait for God to act. Successfully waiting on God requires true patience. God’s answer will come in His perfect timing. Second, David stated that his enemies would not shake him because God was his rock. Successfully waiting on God also requires that you depend upon Him alone for your deliverance. God does not want you to turn to worldly solutions when He does not act according to your timing. Third, after professing that he would wait on God, David poured out his heart to God. Successfully waiting on God also requires that you maintain a relationship with God where you pray to Him on a regular basis and petition Him when you need deliverance. Fourth, even though his trial endured, David professed that he would put his hope in God alone. Successfully waiting on God also requires putting hope in Him and not in worldly solutions. Fifth, David again proclaimed that God was his rock, and that he would place his trust in God alone. Successfully waiting on God also requires your complete trust in Him. Sixth, David warned that things of the flesh would quickly pass. Successfully waiting on God also requires that you place your trust in the Holy Spirit, not the things of the flesh. Finally, David concluded by celebrating God’s power and sovereignty. He had the faith to know that God would fulfill His greater plans. Successfully waiting on God also requires faith in God’s sovereignty and His greater plans.

1. Patience: Successfully Waiting on God Requires True Patience. Ps. 62:1.

  • David proclaimed that he would wait for God. After being attacked, David did not demand anything from God. Instead, he stated that he would wait for God to act: “For the music director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. 1 My soul waits in silence for God alone; from Him comes my salvation.” (Ps. 62:1). “The emphasis in this line is of surrendered silence before God and God alone. The word truly is often translated alone or only and seems to have that sense here. In many psalms David began by telling his great need or describing his present crisis. Here, David began by declaring his great confidence in and trust upon God.” (David Guzik on Ps. 62) (emphasis original).2

  • David found strength in God, even before God answered his prayers. David’s faith was not conditional on an answered prayer. For example, when the people turned on him during Absalom’s rebellion, he found strength merely because he knew that God was with him: “Also, David was in great distress because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David felt strengthened in the LORD his God.” (1 Sam. 30:6).

  • Wait for God to act in His timing. To encourage you when your trials feel unending, the Psalms remind you to be patient and wait for God to act in His perfect timing: “Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.” (Ps. 25:3). “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.” (Ps. 27:14). “Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” (Ps. 33:20). “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and I wait for His word.” (Ps. 130:5). “I have certainly soothed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child resting against his mother, my soul within me is like a weaned child.” (Ps. 131:2). When your trials feel unending, will you wait for God to act in His perfect timing?

Be patient for God to act in His perfect timing3

2. Dependance: Successfully Waiting on God Requires that You Depend on God Alone for Your Deliverance. Ps. 62:2.

  • David professed that God alone was his refuge. In his time of trouble, David proclaimed that he would depend upon God alone to be his refuge and protection when attacked: “He alone is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I will not be greatly shaken.” (Ps. 62:2). “Trusting in God, the heart is fixed. If God be for us, we need not fear what man can do against us. David having put his confidence in God, foresees the overthrow of his enemies. We have found it good to wait upon the Lord, and should charge our souls to have such constant dependence upon him, as may make us always easy. If God will save my soul, I may well leave everything else to his disposal, knowing all shall turn to my salvation. And as David’s faith in God advances to an unshaken steadfastness, so his joy in God improves into a holy triumph. Meditation and prayer are blessed means of strengthening faith and hope.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 62) (italics added).4

  • When you take refuge in God, He will protect you. When you are attacked, God also wants you to depend upon Him for your deliverance and protection: “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God,” (Ps. 18:31). “Because of his strength I will watch for You, for God is my refuge.” (Ps. 59:9). “How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had given them up? Indeed, their rock is not like our Rock; Even our enemies themselves judge this.” (Dt. 32:30-31). “There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Sam. 2:2). When you are attacked, do you rely upon your own abilities? Or, do you turn to God?

Jesus can be your Rock to protect you and to help you endure any attack5

3. Prayer: Successfully Waiting on God Requires that You Pray to Him and Petition Him for Your Deliverance. Ps. 62:3-4.

  • David cried out to God to deliver him from his enemies. After professing that he would wait on God’s timing, David prayed for God to save him from the enemy’s attacks: “How long will you attack a man, that you may murder him, all of you, like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? They have planned only to thrust him down from his high position; they delight in falsehood; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse. Selah” (Ps. 62:3-4). When you take refuge in God, He will also protect you: “Boastful persecutors bulge and swell with pride, but they are only as a bulging wall ready to fall in a heap; they lean forward to seize their prey, but it is only as a tottering fence inclines to the earth upon which it will soon lie at length.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 62).6

  • Pour out your heart out to God when you are in need. Like David, God wants you to pray to Him and pour out your needs to Him when you are under attack: “Rescue me from those who practice injustice, and save me from men of bloodshed.” (Ps. 59:2). “Hide me from the secret discussion of evildoers, from the restlessness of the workers of injustice,” (Ps. 64:2). “Do not take my soul away along with sinners, nor my life with men of bloodshed,” (Ps. 26:9). “You sons of man, how long will my honor be treated as an insult? How long will you love what is worthless and strive for a lie? Selah” (Ps. 4:2). “Do not drag me away with the wicked and with those who practice injustice, who speak peace with their neighbors, while evil is in their hearts.” (Ps. 28:3). If you have any needs, are you praying to God on a regular basis and trusting Him to respond?

4. Hope: Waiting on God Should Include Placing Your Hope in Him. Ps. 62:5.

  • David proclaimed that his hope rested in only God. In his darkness, David stated that he would place his hope in God alone: “My soul, wait in silence for God alone, for my hope is from Him.” (Ps. 62:5). ‘“Out of the depths’ comes forth the voice of faith – ‘My hope is in THEE!’ There is always hope in God. When our father and mother forsake us, the Lord taketh us up. He will not leave us nor forsake us. So the psalmist ends his complaint by throwing himself into the arms of the Divine mercy, and unreservedly submitting himself to God’s will.” (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 62).7

  • Put your hope in Jesus when you are attacked. When you face a trial or darkness, Jesus also wants you to place your hope in Him alone for deliverance: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,” (Heb. 6:19). “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Ps. 39:7). “For I wait for You, LORD; You will answer, Lord my God.” (Ps. 38:15). “For You are my hope; Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.” (Ps. 71:5). When you are attacked, do you place your hope in Jesus or in the things of this world?

Psalm 62.5 Poster - "For God alone my soul walks in silence, for my hope is from him."

When you are attacked, wait on God and put your hope in Him alone8

5. Trust: Successfully Waiting on God Requires Complete Trust in Him. Ps. 62:5-8.

  • David proclaimed that God was his rock and his refuge. In the face of his trial, David proclaimed that he would pour out his heart to God and place his trust in Him alone: “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my refuge; I will not be shaken. My salvation and my glory rest on God; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Ps. 62:5-8). When you pour out your heart to God, it shows that you have a relationship with Him. A nonbeliever would consider this a pointless waste of time.

  • God will bless you when you place your trust in Him. David urged all believers to place their trust in God: “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD.” (Ps. 4:5). The Bible repeatedly promises that God will bless you when you place your trust in Him: “How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who become involved in falsehood.” (Ps. 40:4). “LORD of armies, blessed is the person who trusts in You!” (Ps. 84:12). “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD.” (Jer. 17:7). When you are attacked, do you place your trust in God or in worldly solutions?

  • When you fully trust God, He will help you to endure your trials. As our example, David professed that he could endure his trials because he trusted God: “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom should I dread?” (Ps. 27:1). “But You, LORD, are a shield around me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “God is our refuge and strength, a very ready help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1). “I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Ps. 16:8). “They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.” (Ps. 18:18). “But as for me, I will sing of Your strength; yes, I will joyfully sing of Your faithfulness in the morning, for You have been my refuge and a place of refuge on the day of my distress.” (Ps. 59:16). “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Sam. 22:3). If you trust God, He will also help you to endure your trials.

  • Pour out your heart to God when you are in need. David urged believers to both: “Trust in Him at all times,” and “pour out your hearts before Him.” (Ps. 62:8). When Hannah felt aggrieved because of her infertility, she also poured out her heart to God: “But Hannah answered and said, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman despairing in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD.”’ (1 Sam. 1:15). When you have a need, God also wants you to cry out to Him.

6. Spirit-Minded: Successfully Waiting on God Requires Trust in the Holy Spirit, Not the Flesh. Ps. 62:9-10.

  • David proclaimed that he would not put his trust in worldly things. David knew that the things of the world would quickly pass away and offer no help in his time of need: “People of low standing are only breath, and people of rank are a lie; in the balances they go up. Together they are lighter than breath. 10 Do not trust in oppression, and do not vainly rely on robbery; if wealth increases, do not set your heart on it.” (Ps. 62:9-10). David knew that clinging to God meant that he also needed to live a godly life.

  • Don’t place your trust in worldly things. David professed that the things of the flesh would quickly pass away: ““Behold, You have made my days like hand widths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; certainly all mankind standing is a mere breath. Selah” (Ps. 39:5). For this same reason, James urged believers to not preoccupy themselves with worldly things: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away.” (Jam. 4:14). Are you praying for the Holy Spirit to guide you and then obeying His calling in your life?

  • Live a Spirit-led life, free from the corruption of the world. Part of waiting on God includes avoiding evil (Ps. 62:10). Instead of focusing on worldly influences, a believer should focus on God’s Word and pray for the Holy Spirit to apply it to the believer’s circumstances: “Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to dishonest gain.” (Ps. 119:36). Are you reading the Word, praying, and obeying the Holy Spirit’s direction?

7. Faith: Successfully Waiting on God Requires Faith in His Sovereignty and His Greater Plans for You. Ps. 62:11-12.

  • David proclaimed that he had faith in God’s power. Even through God had not yet intervened, David knew that God is sovereign and would one day act in His perfect timing: “11 God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God; 12 and faithfulness is Yours, Lord, for You reward a person according to his work.” (Ps. 62:11-12). David also knew that God would reward his faith. God will also reward you according to His will when your faith causes you to act with Spirit-led obedience.

  • Celebrate God’s sovereignty to boost your faith. David repeatedly celebrated God’s power: “Salvation belongs to the LORD; may Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah” (Ps. 3:8). “The LORD is their strength, and He is a refuge of salvation to His anointed.” (Ps. 28:8). When believers get to heaven, they will sing to celebrate God’s sovereignty and power, which He uses for good: “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God,” (Rev. 19:1). “and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”’ (Rev. 7:10). When your faith is lacking, remember that God uses His omnipotent power for good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28).

  • Jesus came to fulfill David’s Palm 62. One commentator observes: “David both waits and commands himself to wait in Ps. 62. He warns his enemies of their certain destruction, and he urges his allies to trust God. He asserts the vanity of human solutions, and he proclaims the strength, steadfast love, and justice that belongs to God alone. The kingdom of which David speaks, for which he waits, would be anticipated in his own reign, to be realized when his Lord, seated at the right hand, sees the Father put all enemies underfoot (Ps. 110:1). King Jesus will establish the reign of loving power in justice. Just as Ps. 62 describes, we all wait for God to establish salvation and safety through His return.” (James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. I: Psalms 1-72) (Lexham Academic 2021) p. 567). If you feel that your faith is faltering during an ongoing trial, don’t beat yourself up. God again does not want you to turn to your own abilities or some worldly solution for your trials. Instead, turn to Jesus and depend upon Him alone for the strength to endure while you wait for Him.

  • Jesus will also reward you for your faith. David stated that God will “reward a person according to his work.” (Ps. 62:12). Paul repeated this promise in Romans. God “will repay each person according to his deeds:” (Ro. 2:6). Paul also repeated this promise again in 2 Timothy 4:14. Jesus will one day fulfill these promises: “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds.” (Matt. 16:27). “For He repays a person for his work, and lets things happen in correspondence to a man’s behavior.” (Job 34:11). Thankfully, Jesus has taken the penalty to pay the price for your sinful acts. But He still wants to reward you when your faith causes you to act with Spirit-led obedience. If you persevere in your trials and wait on Jesus, He promises to bless you (Jam. 1:12).

  1. Psalm 63: Seeking After God |, citing J.J. Stewart Perowne, The Book of Psalms, [Zondervan], p. 486) and Commentary on the Old Testament, C.F. Keil & Franz Delitzsch, [Eerdmans], p. 212).↩︎

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