Psalm 19: 14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
This verse is an oft-quoted one. I have used it numerous times in teaching children that it is important to watch what we put into our heart and what comes out of our mouths. In particular, I have used it to teach that God is displeased when we speak words that are angry, hurtful, vulgar, or lies. In conjunction, I teach them that these displeasing words will be in our hearts and come out of our mouths, if we feed our minds with similar thoughts through the shows and movies we watch and the books we read.
As I read this verse recently, however, the Lord opened my eyes to see that all words and thoughts that are self-focused are unacceptable to Him. When I dwell on my problems and the challenges I face in life, then the meditations of my heart are not acceptable to Him. I turn my focus from Him to the world. My thoughts can easily become dark and depressing, because we live in a troubled, fallen world.
We will all face times of enormous challenge in life, such as the loss of loved ones, the loss of a job, and struggles with our health. In these times, we will naturally focus more on ourselves than on others. But, we should never take our eyes off Jesus. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
The psalmist David cried out to the Lord in a time of trouble, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:2, NIV) Then he reminded himself, “But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:5-6, NIV)
The way out of the pits of despair we dig for ourselves is to turn our eyes upon Jesus and to remember His unfailing love. When the meditations of my heart are not pleasing to the Lord, I need to turn my eyes back to Him and rejoice in His salvation and sing to Him. For indeed, the Lord has been good to me.