"Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him;"
~ Psalm 41:1
As Americans, I know we are often encouraged to reframe our thinking, that comparatively we are all rich. And from a worldly economic perspective this is true. It is also practically helpful, to guard our hearts from unnecessary grumbling and complaining, to avoid self-pity and “poor me” attitudes. It is the right frame of mind to prevent a sense of entitlement and a sinful demand or dependence on others to provide for us, rather than us providing for ourselves. We are in a blessed nation of freedom and opportunity like never known before.
But God, through this psalm, and through my exhortations now, wants you to accurately see yourself as comparatively and actually poor (v.1). In the reality of eternity, you and I are morally and spiritually not only poor but comprehensively bankrupt (Rom. 3:10-18). This is a foundational truth of the gospel. We are poor and needy in our sin, destined for eternal death. Spiritually, we are in the day of trouble on our sickbed (v.1,3). Mankind is a desperate creature of the Holy Creator God (Eph. 2:1-3).
But praise the LORD, he is the one who considers the poor (v.1)! He delivers them in the day of trouble (v.1). He protects them and keeps them alive (v.2). He does not give them over to the enemy (v.2). He restores and sustains them (v.3). He is gracious and forgiving (v.4,10). He will uphold and establish them in his presence forever (v.12).
But if you do not recognize, acknowledge and confess your state of poverty in sin; if you do not repent and believe on the LORD Jesus Christ for salvation, this will not be true of you (Eph. 2:4-9; Rom. 10:9; 1 John 1:9; Acts 2:38). Jesus came not for the healthy but the sick; not for the righteous but the unrighteous (Mark 2:17). It is only those who remain self-deceived, suppressing the truth, that refuse to see themselves as poor (Rom. 1:18-32). How hard it is for the rich man to enter the Kingdom (Matt. 19:23-24).
May your heart bless the LORD (v.13), who considers you (v.1), as you read and reflect on Psalm 41.