19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
One’s faith in God does not exempt him from suffering. The believer is subjected to afflictions that are common to man, whether it be sickness or financial crisis or relational problems. His virtue will not secure him from losses and disappointments, infamy and contempt, bad health and hardships. The godly may also be deserted by his friend, and maltreated by his enemies. Death may deprive him of those dear to him, and fill his heart with sorrow. Besides his own personal afflictions, the righteous man bears the burdens of his fellow brethren. Even more, the godly man may face opposition to his faith. He may be ridiculed and persecuted for his commitment to his God. Righteousness sometimes draws upon itself the hatred of bad men, with all the evils they are able to inflict. One’s virtue, especially when it outshines others, may provoke their envy and hatred. Moreover, one’s integrity may lead him to oppose the unjust and mischievous actions of wicked men which would provoke bitter and vicious response from them.
David, the psalmist, himself was afflicted with innumerable problems. But he was sustained and guided by the Lord through all his afflictions. Having received the Lord’s help and deliverance, he now exhorts all the suffering people of God never to lose their courage, whatever evils that threaten them. He assures them that God is able to deliver them. Even if a thousand troubles would surround the godly man, God is able to deliver him from them all. So God’s people should never give up their expectation of the Lord’s help and deliverance.
It would be of great help to observe how David clung to his hope of deliverance from the Lord. In earlier verses of this psalm, he tells us that he poured his heart’s troubles to the Lord in prayer. In verse 6, he said, “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles”. In verse 15, he testified from his experience that “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry”. So in verse 17, he boldly declared, “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles”. It was through constant pleading in the midst of his afflictions that David sustained his heart in the hope of deliverance. Let us also therefore, hope and pray for the Lord’s deliverance in the midst of our troubles.