Pour Out Your Heart
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him…”
– Psalm 62:8
A Beautiful Call
How wonderful that such a command is in scripture….”pour out your heart before Him.” That is truly awesome. Remember that the Bible is the word of God. This means that a call like the one we see in Psalm 62:8 comes to us directly from the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the King of kings, the highest authority in all of reality, the One whom none can be over and whom all must be under, the One who knows all things and created all things and sustains all things and is Himself the end and goal and purpose of all things….this God says to His children–says to you if you have received Jesus as Lord–, “Trust in me at all times, and pour out your heart before me.”
Beautiful. First, He calls us to trust in Him, and to trust in Him at all times. What does that mean? It means, I believe, to trust His character, His nature, His revealed identity, His Name. Trust who He is, trust in His wisdom and goodness and sovereign love. Trust in Him at all times. The implication is, of course, during the bad times as well as the good. During the difficulty and pain and sorrow, during the cancer, during the job loss, during the death of the brother or sister or mother or father, during the walk through the valley of the shadow of death….in those times, trust in the Lord, trust in Him. Trust His Love.
And where do we see Him? Where do we know Him? Where do we find His heart so that we might know and trust, even in the hard times? Well, all of scripture is written for this central purpose: to make Him known to us. The pages of the Bible are humming with the beauty of His character. But, the climactic declaration of God’s nature–of Who He Is–comes to us in His Son. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, He is the One who has made the invisible God known. So if we would learn to “trust in Him at all times,” we must know Him in His Son. And even more than that, we must know Him at the cross. It is there that hear His Name…there that all our objections and excuses are silenced on our lips by the heights and depths of YHWH’s steadfast love for His own….We trust in the One made known at Calvary, we trust in the One who rose again in victory and wove the suffering of the cross into the song of His glory, we trust in the One who right now sits enthroned at the Father’s right hand in heaven, ordaining all things for the good of His people. Hands scarred by love are forming my steps, authoring my days, molding my experiences…..I can–we can–trust Him, we can trust Him, we have seen His heart and it is beautiful and we can trust in Him at all times.
But I think that there is more that we can say about the form that trust takes in the emotional and mental life of God’s people. Just a few sentences later, in verse 10, David gives us some more insight into the nature of trust:
“Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them.”
Notice the parallelism in this verse. Hebrew poetry often uses repeated parallel phrases as a way of unfolding fuller, richer or other facets of meaning from a single concept. In this case, “trust” seems to be unfolded in the phrases, “set…hopes,” and “set…your heart on them.” In other words, it would seem that the kind of trust that the Psalmist is talking about here can be explicated as setting your hopes and setting your heart on the thing trusted. Granted, here we are told not to have this sort of trust toward empty things, but I think that we can be fairly confident that the trust we are told not to set on worthless things is the same sort of trust that we are to set on God (v.8).
So–with verse 10 in mind–when David says in verse 8 that we should trust in God at all times, I think it would be reasonable to understand him as calling us to set our hopes on God, and to set our heart on Him. Trusting in God means to hope in Him; to look to the future and depend on Him; to say to ourselves, “YHWH is God so all will be well.” And again, trusting in Him means to set our hearts on Him. It means that we have sunk the roots of our affections into His Nature, we have moored the vessel of our emotional life to the white shores of the Far Green Country that is His Name. Our hopes and hearts are set on Him. This is what it is to trust in the Lord and this is what He calls, invites us, enables us to do.
Pouring Out Our Hearts
And lastly, as a natural and necessary result of this sort of hope-setting, heart-anchoring trust, we are to pour out our hearts before Him. You cannot pour your heart out to someone that you think is going to reject you….you cannot pour your heart out to someone that might use the out-poured contents to shame you….you cannot pour your heart out to someone who may not care or understand you….in short, you cannot pour your heart out to someone that you do not trust. That is why–I believe–the order of this verse is first trust in Him, and then pour your hearts out to Him. YHWH God is calling His people to know Him as He has revealed Himself to us in His saving works–climaxing at the cross of Christ–and, having known Him, to deeply, intimately, desperately trust in Him. And in the context of this trust, He calls us to breathe our entire selves out to Him in prayer. To pour our hearts out–unchecked, unpolished, uncensored–to the One who has proven Himself to be Love. GOD calls us to this….
And I should end by saying this: He calls us to this only in Christ.
Not only is Jesus the One who shows us God, and not only is His cross the supreme declaration of the beauty of God, but He is also the only way to God. The unveiled contents of a human heart will only serve to convict their owner if they have not been covered and forgiven through the death and resurrection of Christ. For those who have trusted in Christ and whose sin has been condemned in the death of the Son, there is nothing they need to hide….they can pour out the darkest contents of their heart and still find forgiveness and love from God in Chris……but for the one who has ignored or refused Christ, even the crown jewel of their moral life is a leaden weighty that will drag them to damnation. So, friends, may we first TRUST in Him, TRUST His work in Christ, SET our hope on His Name, SET our hearts on His Love….and, having trust Him, may we pour out our hearts to Him.