10 Psalms of trust in God’s goodness and care for his people

Sometimes it’s hard to trust anybody. It’s hard to trust your immediate family. It’s hard to trust your work. It’s hard to trust government. The reason it’s hard to trust is because we know we’re not trustworthy. If we can’t even trust ourselves, how can we trust anybody else?

In times like these, you need someone you can trust. Someone who has your best interests in mind. Someone who has never let you down. And, someone who won’t ever leave you or forsake you. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ. Even if he’s the only one left in your life that you can trust, you’re going to be okay. Here are 10 Psalms that prove you can trust God.

Psalm 11 — trust for protection

Psalm 11:1-7.  Alluding to some event in his history, as in 1Sa 23:13, the Psalmist avows his confidence in God, when admonished to flee from his raging persecutors, whose destruction of the usual foundations of safety rendered all his efforts useless. The grounds of his confidence are God’s supreme dominion, His watchful care of His people, His hatred to the wicked and judgments on them, and His love for righteousness and the righteous. –James, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

Psalm 16 — trust for safety and refuge

This Psalm shows the close relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and us. He suffered like us. He needed safety and refuge. He understands our problems. And, he has promise to meet our needs. (Isn’t it strange?)

  • Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.(Hebrews 2:18)
  • He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses because he was tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15)
  • He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. (Hebrews 5:2)
  •  For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)

According to Peter (Acts 2:25) and Paul (Acts 13:35), this Psalm relates to Christ and expresses the feelings of His human nature, in view of His sufferings and victory over death and the grave, including His subsequent exaltation at the right hand of God. –James, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

  • But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
  • Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
  • And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you, secure you, strengthen you, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)
  • For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
  • so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17)

Psalm 23 — trust for refreshment, guidance, protection, and abundance

This oft-quoted Psalm is justifiably the most important Psalm of trust, the importance of integrity, God’s shepherding care, God’s guidance, God’s goodness, and eternal security in his unfailing love. When we have all that we need, we can rest. (The Gospel of Rest)

This psalm of trust and confidence in the Lord has been a favorite of God’s people for generations. It expresses assurance of God’s presence in the midst of adversity. It evokes images of the Good Shepherd (23:1-3; see Ezek 34:12; John 10:11) and of the messianic banquet (23:5-6; see Isa 25:6; Rev 19:9). –New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes

  1. Christ’s relation to His people is often represented by the figure of a shepherd (Joh 10:14; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 5:4), and therefore the opinion that He is the Lord here so described, and in Ge 48:15; Ps 80:1; Isa 40:11, is not without some good reason. (JFB) Psalms 23:1
  2. green pastures–or, “pastures of tender grass,” are mentioned, not in respect to food, but as places of cool and refreshing rest. (JFB) Psalms 23:2
  3. To restore the soul is to revive or quicken it (Ps 19:7), or relieve it (La 1:11, 19). (JFB) Psalms 23:3
  4. In the darkest and most trying hour God is near. (JFB) Psalms 23:4
  5. A feast demonstrates safety even in the midst of enemies
  6. The Lord expresses his unfailing love through the goodness of his presence and other benefits that he alone provides (69:16; 86:17; 109:21; see 18:6; 61:4). He actively bestows care that is greater than the temporary trials imposed by enemies (7:1). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 23:6

Psalm 27 — trust for confidence, hope, and joy in the midst of dangers

27:1-14: This psalm mixes two genres—a psalm of confidence (27:1-6) and an individual lament (27:7-14)—held together by the theme of longing for the Lord’s presence. The psalmist focuses on the Lord; his circumstances are secondary. The strength of the psalmist’s faith is expressed in his openness to the Lord’s instruction, timing, and priorities. (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
     so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
     so why should I tremble? (NLT) Psalms 27:1

Psalm 62 — trust for salvation and judgment

Ps 62:1-12. To Jeduthun–(See on Ps 39:1, title). The general tone of this Psalm is expressive of confidence in God. Occasion is taken to remind the wicked of their sin, their ruin, and their meanness. (JFB) Psalms 62:1

62:1-12: This psalm expresses confidence in the king and offers prayer for him. The king rests in God despite his difficulties. Although his deceptive and powerful adversaries push hard against him, he remains undaunted. He encourages himself and his people to trust in God and to see their human adversaries from God’s perspective, where they appear frail, fleeting, and deceptive (62:9). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 62:1

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
     for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
     my fortress where I will not be shaken. (NLT) Psalms 62:5-6

Psalm 63 — trust in God’s power and glory

Ps 63:1-11. The historical occasion referred to by the title was probably during Absalom’s rebellion (compare 2Sa 15:23, 28; 16:2). David expresses an earnest desire for God’s favor, and a confident expectation of realizing it in his deliverance and the ruin of his enemies. (JFB) Psalms 63:1

63:1-11: The king longs for God’s presence so vividly that he eats, drinks, and sees God’s goodness. Though worn out and harassed by the wicked, the king sees God, and this animates him with praise. God becomes his life (63:3), while the wicked perish (63:9). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 63:1

I have seen you in your sanctuary
     and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
     how I praise you! (NLT) Psalms 63:2-3

Psalm 91 — trust for shelter and refuge

Ps 91:1-16. David is the most probable author; and the pestilence, mentioned in 2Sa 24:13-15, the most probable of any special occasion to which the Psalm may refer. The changes of person allowable in poetry are here frequently made. (JFB) Psalms 91:1

91:1-16: This wisdom psalm expresses confidence in the Almighty God, who provides a shelter for those who take refuge in him. They receive redemption, life, and glory from the Lord, who loves and cares for those who seek him. (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 91:1

He will cover you with his feathers.
     He will shelter you with his wings.
     His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (NLT) Psalms 91:4

Psalm 121 — trust God to guard his people

This Psalm of ascents has comforted and reassured God’s people for thousands of years. As in Psalms 139:7-12, God’s protection, guidance, and strength are available everywhere and everywhen (all the time). This is a long-time personal favorite. It is one of the first songs that I want to hear in heaven.

v.1-2 My helper is the creator of heaven and earth
v.3-4 My helper never slumbers or sleeps on the job
v.5-6 My helper guards me from everything
v.7-8 My helper watches over my life forever

Psalm 125 — trust for protection

Ps 125:1-5. God honors the confidence of His people, by protection and deliverance, and leaves hypocrites to the doom of the wicked.
     1, 2. Mount Zion–as an emblem of permanence, and locality of Jerusalem as one of security, represent the firm and protected condition of God’s people (compare Ps 46:5), supported not only by Providence, but by covenant promise. Even the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but God’s kindness shall not depart, nor His covenant of peace be removed (Isa 54:10). (JFB) Psalms 125:1

Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
     they will not be defeated but will endure forever. (NLT) Psalms 125:1

Psalm 131 — trust for contentment

131:1-3: Out of his contentment in the Lord, the psalmist invites Israel to seek their rest in God (131:3). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 131:1

Ps 131:1-3. This Psalm, while expressive of David’s pious feelings on assuming the royal office, teaches the humble, submissive temper of a true child of God. (JFB) Psalms 131:1

Lord, my heart is not proud;
     my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
     or too awesome for me to grasp.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
     like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
     Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. (NLT) Psalms 131:1-2

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