Have you found yourself taking a bleak view of things and giving in to cynicism? Have you gradually bought into a world-view based on Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong? Psalm 71 takes you down a road that leads precisely in the opposite direction. Your cynicism is replaced by faith: Whatever can go wrong can—and will—be used by God. Instead of a future of good things constantly bent in the wrong direction, you see a godly future in which God bends the world’s distorted hopes into His beautiful plan.
David has confidence in the future because he has confidence in the One holding it. He writes, “You shall increase my greatness, and comfort [encourage] me on every side” (v. 21). We need to understand the wording in this verse, particularly the word greatness. You and I have no greatness in ourselves for God to increase. David refers to his sphere of influence and his opportunity to make a difference.
Trials put us in place for that to happen. They are for our benefit, as unwelcome as they are at the time. They make us better men and women, which makes us more influential men and women who can make a difference for God’s purposes. When you have walked through the fire, people begin to listen to you. When you have the wisdom borne of suffering, you begin to have the tools to accomplish something in the world.