A New Song for a New Year

Need a New Song?

“[God] has put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise. … Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.” Psalm 40:3-4

The man wouldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. On his knees, he begged God to spare the life of his infant son.

King David hadn’t forgotten what the prophet Nathan said, “The son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:14). But the grieving monarch  prayed anyway. God was merciful. God was forgiving. Perhaps His anger would subside and He’d heal David and Bathsheba’s child.

But the baby died.

King David then bathed, dressed and went to the tabernacle to worship (2 Samuel 12:20). How could he do that after God had denied his impassioned plea?

The Hebrew word translated worship means to “bow down.” In other words, David bowed to God’s will. Despite his broken heart, he relied on God’s goodness and faithfulness. While the child lived, David hoped God would be gracious, but the child’s death indicated it was time to accept God’s answer, no matter how painful (2 Samuel 12:21-23).

That act of faith, that confidence in God’s inherent goodness enabled David, years later, to say, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken” (Psalm 37:25). Time and time again in David’s life, when inexplicable events bombarded him, he chose to trust God, not doubt Him. He chose to worship, not rant. When despair and doubt pounded on the door of his heart, David asked God to restore the joy of his salvation, to give him an obedient spirit, and to put a new song in his heart (See Psalm 51:12; 40:1-3).

That’s what God calls us to do as well.

How would you characterize 2016—a year of delight, a year of disappointment, maybe a little of both? For me, it was a little-of-both year.

It’s time to put 2016 behind us, though. It’s time to bow to God’s sovereignty, to rely on His goodness and faithfulness. God can put a new song in our heart. God can restore the joy of our salvation. The scars will remain on our heart until we receive a new body in heaven, but joy can inhabit a scarred heart. Just ask David.

Ask God to give you a joyous new song in 2017.


Read 2 Samuel 11-12. What does this sad episode in David’s life teach us about God’s holiness, His forgiving nature, and His love for us?

Most scholars agree that Psalm 51 was written after the events recorded in 2 Samuel 11. What does this psalm teach us about the path of forgiveness and restoration?

Read Psalm 40. What truths in this psalm could you turn into goals for 2017?

Denise K. Loock

Other devotions on preparing for a new year can be found using the tag “New Year” on the righthand side of this page.


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