Many churches have special worship times called “praise and testimony.” Sometimes testimonies are included as part of a regular Sunday morning service, but other times a special service would be held, perhaps on Sunday evening, to focus on singing hymns and hearing the testimonies of people in the congregation. These might include public expressions of thanks to God, or the story of how someone came to faith in Jesus, or examples of how God had worked in a particular situation.
Our psalm today is an example of how a testimony can be an expression of hope in God. At the beginning of this passage, the psalmist expresses his plea for the Lord to protect him. He stresses the notion of safety, using the word “refuge” three times in the first seven verses. He has hope that God is willing and able to provide a secure fortress of salvation.
This is not a theoretical concern. The psalmist has enemies who are conspiring against him (vv. 10–13). The psalm contains clues that the psalmist might be older, perhaps nearing the end of his life (vv. 9, 18). Though he might be more vulnerable physically, he remains robust in his hope in God. He has praised the Lord since his youth, and he’s not about to stop now (vv. 6, 17)!
Verse 14 provides the hinge or pivot point in this psalm. This declaration of hope inspires the testimony of God’s faithfulness that follows in the rest of the passage. The psalmist has seen God’s “righteous deeds” and “saving acts” and “marvelous deeds” and “mighty acts” (vv. 15–17). Throughout his life, the psalmist has seen God work in wonderful ways. Hope in God’s deliverance is based on a testimony of God’s faithfulness.