Faith In An Upside-Down World

Text: Psalm 130

A “disciple” is someone who learns the ways of a master. Disciples follow their masters through life as pilgrims on the way to a richer and fuller life. Those who sung the Old Testament psalms of ascent where “disciples of Yahweh.” They made regular journeys to Jerusalem to worship their LORD for His majesty and grace.

In similar ways, Christians are “pilgrim-disciples.”

One might think that following Jesus would lead to a life with little or no problems. But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the New Testament is filled with stories of Christians who suffered for their faith in Jesus (cf. Hebrews 11:32-40). Their lives were turned upside down because of what they believed and how they lived.

Some disciples reading this blog know the reality of a faith that is interrupted with pain. Maybe you are going through the sorrow of divorce, job loss, the betrayal of a one-time friend, or the horrible diagnosis of a terminal disease.

If your world is in turmoil, then you desperately need Psalm 130 in your life. 

We know this is a psalm about personal turmoil because of the words recorded in verse 1: "Out of the depths I call to you, Yahweh." The word “depths” refers to a life that has made a sudden turn in the direction of pain and confinement. It is a term that emerges out of doubt and fear—the fear that maybe God has forgotten us and we are all alone.

So what should we do in these painful circumstances?  Psalm 130 is making an unusual appeal:

When life turns upside down, God wants us to practice redemptive waiting.


It is the practice of one who believes intellectually that God is at work, but there is little evidence that He is currently working in our lives. As a result, we have to WAIT for God to act and to rescue us.


  1. WE MUST WAIT & PRAY.  Stop right there! The psalmist is not talking about some polite, well-phrased prayer. No, it is a prayer of “crying out” to God about the pain we are facing. Notice in verses 1 and 2 that the writer “calls from the depths” to a God he expects will listen with attentive ears.  Yes, that is the kind of God we have in Christ Jesus. So while you are waiting, pray with intensity to the God who hears you.
  2. WE MUST WAIT & WORSHIP. Notice that in verses 3 and 4 that the psalmist realizes something majestic about Yahweh, the God or redemption. He doesn’t hold on to our sins, considering how terrible they are. He doesn’t keep throwing our past sins in our faces. This psalm tells us that our God is a God of forgiveness who is to be “revered.” So while you are waiting, be sure to worship Jesus, who has forgiven all your sins—past, present, and future.
  3. WE MUST WAIT & WATCH. According to verses 5 and 6 we are to make the most of our waiting. We are to be like ancient “watchman” who spent the night on constant alert to make sure no enemies would breech the city’s security. In the same way, we are to watch and anticipate that God cares and that He will act on our behalf.
  4. WE MUST WAIT & PROCLAIM. According to verses 7 and 8 the psalmist called the entire nation of Israel to put their hope in God. He was calling for his fellow pilgrims to speak truth to one another as they traveled to and from Jerusalem. He knew that life is best lived in community where we share our faith with others. When some are emotionally discouraged, others will be there to remind them of God’s love and power. So with the psalmist of old we are to wait and tell others that God will eventually come to our rescue.


So if we practice redemptive waiting, does that mean that every broken relationship will be healed and every problem resolved in this life? No, that may not be the outcome. God may very well deliver us from the problems we are currently facing. But ultimate redemption will come when Jesus returns, and we enter into His presence forever! So with His promise of rescue before us, we have good reason to WAIT!

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