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Mizmor 031 - Rebuilding Bitachon

(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד: (ב) בְּךָ ה' חָסִיתִי אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם בְּצִדְקָתְךָ פַלְּטֵנִי:
(1) For the musician, a mizmor by David. (2) I have sought refuge with You, Hashem. Let me never feel embarrassed. In Your generous goodwill, save me.
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev 6]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 031 - Rebuilding Bitachon
In this mizmor David provides us with an extended tefillah which reflects many of the moods and thoughts that a person may have in his personal conversation with Hashem.
The broad theme of the tefillah is the need to reconcile an individual’s bitachon in Hashem with the problems he is facing in his life. Even when those problems have not yet been resolved, David teaches us to be confident that the yeshuah (salvation) will come.
Along the way David visualizes the joy he will personally feel when Hashem has answered his tefillos. He then describes the agony he is currently suffering because the yeshuah has not yet appeared. Rebounding from this low point David takes courage and renews his call for help. He then praises Hashem for His goodness and thanks Him for His kindness. David concludes with a stirring call to his fellow Jews to love Hashem and to strengthen themselves in their devotion to Him.
Navigating Tehillim. David’s roller-coaster spiritual experience of Mizmor 031 is comparable to that in Mizmor 039 (Crisis of Conscience), where we again find him struggling to understand his place in Hashem’s plan.
Exploring the Mizmor
PART 1. DECLARATION OF BITACHON. David declares his bitachon in Hashem and appeals for His help.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד: (ב) בְּךָ ה' חָסִיתִי אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם בְּצִדְקָתְךָ פַלְּטֵנִי: (ג) הַטֵּה אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ מְהֵרָה הַצִּילֵנִי הֱיֵה לִי לְצוּר מָעוֹז לְבֵית מְצוּדוֹת לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי: (ד) כִּי סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה וּלְמַעַן שִׁמְךָ תַּנְחֵנִי וּתְנַהֲלֵנִי: (ה) תּוֹצִיאֵנִי מֵרֶשֶׁת זוּ טָמְנוּ לִי כִּי אַתָּה מָעוּזִּי: (ו) בְּיָדְךָ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי פָּדִיתָה אוֹתִי ה' אֵ־ל אֱמֶת: (ז) שָׂנֵאתִי הַשֹּׁמְרִים הַבְלֵי שָׁוְא וַאֲנִי אֶל ה' בָּטָחְתִּי:
(1) For the musician, a mizmor by David. (2) I have sought refuge with You, Hashem. Let me never feel embarrassed. In Your generous goodwill, save me. (3) Incline Your ear to me and quickly rescue me. May [my trust] be for me a sturdy rock, a built-up fortress to save me. (4) For You have been my towering Rock and You have been my Fortress. For [the honor of] Your Name lead me and guide me. (5) Extricate me from this net [that my enemies] have hidden to [catch] me. For You are my stronghold. (6) I will entrust my living spirit into Your hand for You saved me Hashem, G-d of truth. (7) I have come to hate those who depend on worthless fantasies. As for me, I trust in Hashem!
PART 2. ANTICIPATION OF JOY. David visualizes the joy he will feel when Hashem has answered his tefillos:
(ח) אָגִילָה וְאֶשְׂמְחָה בְּחַסְדֶּךָ אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָ אֶת עָנְיִי יָדַעְתָּ בְּצָרוֹת נַפְשִׁי: (ט) וְלֹא הִסְגַּרְתַּנִי בְּיַד אוֹיֵב הֶעֱמַדְתָּ בַמֶּרְחָב רַגְלָי:
(8) I will feel exultation. I will rejoice in Your loving kindness that You have seen my affliction, that You have known the troubles of my soul. (9) And You have not turned me over to the clutches of the foe. Instead You have set my feet on a wide-open place.
PART 3. PLEA FOR RELIEF. However, the yeshuah has not yet come and David pleads to be granted relief from his current troubles:
(י) חָנֵּנִי ה' כִּי צַר לִי עָשְׁשָׁה בְכַעַס עֵינִי נַפְשִׁי וּבִטְנִי: (יא) כִּי כָלוּ בְיָגוֹן חַיַּי וּשְׁנוֹתַי בַּאֲנָחָה כָּשַׁל בַּעֲוֹנִי כֹחִי וַעֲצָמַי עָשֵׁשׁוּ: (יב) מִכָּל צֹרְרַי הָיִיתִי חֶרְפָּה וְלִשֲׁכֵנַי מְאֹד וּפַחַד לִמְיֻדָּעָי רֹאַי בַּחוּץ נָדְדוּ מִמֶּנִּי: (יג) נִשְׁכַּחְתִּי כְּמֵת מִלֵּב הָיִיתִי כִּכְלִי אֹבֵד: (יד) כִּי שָׁמַעְתִּי דִּבַּת רַבִּים מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב בְּהִוָּסְדָם יַחַד עָלַי לָקַחַת נַפְשִׁי זָמָמוּ:
(10) Grant me Your favor, Hashem, for I am in distress; My eye is dimmed from the anger [of my enemies]. [I feel it] in my soul and my stomach. (11) For my life is consumed with anguish and my years with sighing. Because of my iniquity my strength has failed and my bones are wasted away. (12) Because of so many tormentors I have become [an object of] derision to my neighbors and fright to my close friends. [People] seeing me on the street move away from me. (13) I have become as forgotten as a dead person, [vanished] from the heart. I have become like a lost vessel. (14) But I hear the conspiracies of many, terrorizing all around.
Navigating Tehillim. In verse 10 David speaks of the physical and spiritual distress that the ill-will of his enemies has upon him: “My eye is dimmed from the anger [of my enemies]. [I feel it] in my soul and my stomach.” This recalls a similar thought in verse 8 of Mizmor 006, which is a tefillah to be healed from affliction: “My eye is dimmed from anger, aged by all my tormentors.”
PART 4. RENEWAL OF BITACHON. David renews his bitachon in Hashem and pleads for His yeshuah:
(טו) וַאֲנִי עָלֶיךָ בָטַחְתִּי ה' אָמַרְתִּי אֱלֹהַי אָתָּה: (טז) בְּיָדְךָ עִתֹּתָי הַצִּילֵנִי מִיַּד אוֹיְבַי וּמֵרֹדְפָי: (יז) הָאִירָה פָנֶיךָ עַל עַבְדֶּךָ הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי בְחַסְדֶּךָ: (יח) ה' אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה כִּי קְרָאתִיךָ יֵבֹשׁוּ רְשָׁעִים יִדְּמוּ לִשְׁאוֹל: (יט) תֵּאָלַמְנָה שִׂפְתֵי שָׁקֶר הַדֹּבְרוֹת עַל צַדִּיק עָתָק בְּגַאֲוָה וָבוּז:
(15) But as for me, I have trusted in You, Hashem. I said, “You are my G-d.” (16) My times are in Your hand. Rescue me from the hand of my foes and from my pursuers. (17) Shine Your face upon Your servant. Save me in Your kindness. (18) Hashem, let me not feel disheartened after having called upon You. Let the resha’im be disheartened. Let them [be sent in] silence to the grave (19) May lying lips be struck dumb, [lips] that speak harshly against the righteous person with pride and contempt.
PART 5. PRAISE AND GRATITUDE. Empowered by his new strengthened bitachon, David praises Hashem for His goodness and thanks Him for His kindness:
(כ) מָה רַב טוּבְךָ אֲשֶׁר צָפַנְתָּ לִּירֵאֶיךָ פָּעַלְתָּ לַחֹסִים בָּךְ נֶגֶד בְּנֵי אָדָם: (כא) תַּסְתִּירֵם בְּסֵתֶר פָּנֶיךָ מֵרֻכְסֵי אִישׁ תִּצְפְּנֵם בְּסֻכָּה מֵרִיב לְשֹׁנוֹת: (כב) בָּרוּךְ ה' כִּי הִפְלִיא חַסְדּוֹ לִי בְּעִיר מָצוֹר: (כג) וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְחָפְזִי נִגְרַזְתִּי מִנֶּגֶד עֵינֶיךָ אָכֵן שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנַי בְּשַׁוְּעִי אֵלֶיךָ:
(20) How abundant is Your goodness that You have hidden away for those who fear You. You have acted for those who seek refuge in You in the presence of [all] men. (21) You conceal them in the hiding place of Your Presence, [protected] from the schemes of men. You treasure them in a shelter from the strife of tongues. (22) Blessed is Hashem, for He has been wondrously kind to me, [secure as] in a fortified city. (23) And I said in my panic, “I am cut off from Your sight!” But in truth, You heard the sound of my pleas when I cried to You.
PART 6. MESSAGE TO THE NATION. David encourages Klal Yisrael to increase their devotion and trust in Hashem:
(כד) אֶהֱבוּ אֶת ה' כָּל חֲסִידָיו אֱמוּנִים נֹצֵר ה' וּמְשַׁלֵּם עַל יֶתֶר עֹשֵׂה גַאֲוָה: (כה) חִזְקוּ וְיַאֲמֵץ לְבַבְכֶם כָּל הַמְיַחֲלִים לַה':
(24) Love Hashem, all His devout ones! Hashem protects the faithful, but He repays the one who acts haughtily, for his arrogance. (25) Be strong, and your hearts will take courage, all who wait longingly for Hashem.
Additional Thoughts
In Mizmor 031 we see David experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions and attitudes. He is at times calmly confident, earnestly pleading, joyfully expectant, painfully suffering, humbly supplicating, deeply grateful, agonizingly self-doubting, and enthusiastically inspired. What ties it all together is the key thought in the second posuk: “I have sought refuge with You, Hashem. Let me never feel embarrassed.”
A person feels embarrassed when actual events in life are at variance with the self-image that he has created for himself and for the outside world. His state of embarrassment is a sign of his bewilderment, a recognition that the image was a lie.
But if a person places his trust in Hashem, his self-image is that of a frail human being who seeks to do what is right, even if he does not always succeed. He knows that whatever may happen to him is ultimately part of Hashem’s plan for him. If he can hold that thought, there is no need for embarrassment or bewilderment.
During the days of sefirah preceding Shavuos, we are aware of being on a steady progression toward the spiritual goal of Kabolas Torah. Each count seems to represent a single, uniform increment in this progression, but in truth our spiritual growth is not steady. Some days we make great leaps forward while on others we lose the momentum and get sidetracked. The important thing is not to be discouraged, but to keep the goal in sight and remember that we are in Hashem’s care.
Learning the Mizmor
PART 1. DECLARATION OF BITACHON.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד:
This song has been prepared for the musician — לַמְנַצֵּחַ , who will perform it. It is a mizmor composed by David  מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד .
(ב) בְּךָ ה' חָסִיתִי 
אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם
Throughout my life I have sought refuge and trusted in You alone, Hashem, — בְּךָ ה' חָסִיתִי . I have taken shelter under Your wing and have devoted myself to Your mitzvos. I humbly ask You to show Your continued care for me. Let me never feel embarrassed — אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם  when my commitment to You remains unanswered.
בְּצִדְקָתְךָ פַלְּטֵנִי:
In Your generous goodwill — בְּצִדְקָתְךָ  towards me, save me — פַלְּטֵנִי  from my present trouble.
(ג) הַטֵּה אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ
מְהֵרָה הַצִּילֵנִי
The threat I am now facing is so imminent that I ask You not to wait. Even if my tefillah is not sufficiently worthy to ascend to You, incline Your ear to me  הַטֵּה אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ  and hear me. Then come and quickly rescue me — מְהֵרָה הַצִּילֵנִי .
הֱיֵה לִי לְצוּר מָעוֹז 
לְבֵית מְצוּדוֹת לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי:
May my trust in You be for me like a sturdy rock — הֱיֵה לִי לְצוּר מָעוֹז  upon which I can be secure, beyond the reach of my enemies. May it be for me like a built-up fortress to save me — לְבֵית מְצוּדוֹת לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי  behind impenetrable barricades. When the enemy sees my confidence in Your yeshuah he will be discouraged from even attempting an attack.
(ד) כִּי סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה
For in the past You have been my towering Rock  כִּי סַלְעִי  to Whom I could flee when I was beset by harmful forces and You have been my Fortress  וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה , high up on a cliff to protect me within its walls.
וּלְמַעַן שִׁמְךָ 
תַּנְחֵנִי וּתְנַהֲלֵנִי:
And so in the future I ask that for the honor of Your Name — וּלְמַעַן שִׁמְךָ  with which Yisrael is identified around the world, You should lead me — תַּנְחֵנִי  to safety and guide me to keep me going even if I stumble on the way — וּתְנַהֲלֵנִי .
(ה) תּוֹצִיאֵנִי מֵרֶשֶׁת זוּ טָמְנוּ לִי
כִּי אַתָּה מָעוּזִּי:
Even if I stumble into sin, I look to You to help me and extricate me from this net — תּוֹצִיאֵנִי מֵרֶשֶׁת זוּ  of immorality that wicked people have hidden to catch me — טָמְנוּ לִי  and lead me astray. For You are my Stronghold — כִּי אַתָּה מָעוּזִּי , my foundation of truth.
(ו) בְּיָדְךָ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי 
פָּדִיתָה אוֹתִי ה' אֵ־ל אֱמֶת:
I will continue to commit myself to You and will continue to rely upon You to save me from danger. I will entrust my living spirit into Your hand  בְּיָדְךָ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי  for just as You saved me — פָּדִיתָה אוֹתִי  in the past, I am confident that You will save me again and for that I will owe You my devotion. You will surely help me for You are Hashem — ה' , the G-d of mercy, and You are the G-d of truth  אֵ־ל אֱמֶת , Who keeps His promises.
(ז) שָׂנֵאתִי הַשֹּׁמְרִים הַבְלֵי שָׁוְא
וַאֲנִי אֶל ה' בָּטָחְתִּי:
I have come to hate — שָׂנֵאתִי  those misguided people who chose to depend on worthless fantasies — הַשֹּׁמְרִים הַבְלֵי שָׁוְא , such as superstitious beliefs or luck. As for me, I have chosen to look to Hashem and it is to Him that I trust — וַאֲנִי אֶל ה' בָּטָחְתִּי .
PART 2. ANTICIPATION OF JOY.
(ח) אָגִילָה וְאֶשְׂמְחָה בְּחַסְדֶּךָ
When You save me I will immediately feel a burst of exultation — אָגִילָה . My happiness will continue as I rejoice — וְאֶשְׂמְחָה  in the knowledge that what has happened is evidence of Your loving kindness — בְּחַסְדֶּךָ  and Your care for me.
אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָ אֶת עָנְיִי 
יָדַעְתָּ בְּצָרוֹת נַפְשִׁי:
I will be grateful that You have seen and noticed my physical affliction — אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָ אֶת עָנְיִי . I will be filled with joy that You have known and felt individual concern for the troubles of my soul — יָדַעְתָּ בְּצָרוֹת נַפְשִׁי .
(ט) וְלֹא הִסְגַּרְתַּנִי בְּיַד אוֹיֵב 
הֶעֱמַדְתָּ בַמֶּרְחָב רַגְלָי:
And I will be grateful that You have entrusted me with the freedom to choose life. You have not turned me over to the clutches of the foe — וְלֹא הִסְגַּרְתַּנִי בְּיַד אוֹיֵב  where I would be compelled to act. Instead You have set my feet on a wide-open place — הֶעֱמַדְתָּ בַמֶּרְחָב רַגְלָי , so that I have the freedom to go where I please and do teshuvah by my own choice rather than as a reaction to constraint.
PART 3. PLEA FOR RELIEF.
(י) חָנֵּנִי ה' כִּי צַר לִי 
עָשְׁשָׁה בְכַעַס עֵינִי נַפְשִׁי וּבִטְנִי:
Grant me Your favor, Hashem — חָנֵּנִי ה' , for I am in distress — כִּי צַר לִי My eye is dimmed from the pain of facing the anger of my enemies — עָשְׁשָׁה בְכַעַס עֵינִי . I suffer from the pain that I feel in my very soul and the hunger that I feel in my stomach — נַפְשִׁי וּבִטְנִי .
(יא) כִּי כָלוּ בְיָגוֹן חַיַּי וּשְׁנוֹתַי בַּאֲנָחָה 
כָּשַׁל בַּעֲוֹנִי כֹחִי וַעֲצָמַי עָשֵׁשׁוּ:
For my life is consumed with anguish — כִּי כָלוּ בְיָגוֹן חַיַּי  and my years are consumed with sighing — וּשְׁנוֹתַי בַּאֲנָחָה  as I think about my enduring troubles. Because of my iniquity my strength has failed — כָּשַׁל בַּעֲוֹנִי כֹחִי  and my bones are wasted away — וַעֲצָמַי עָשֵׁשׁוּ .
(יב) מִכָּל צֹרְרַי הָיִיתִי חֶרְפָּה 
וְלִשֲׁכֵנַי מְאֹד וּפַחַד לִמְיֻדָּעָי
Because so many tormentors — מִכָּל צֹרְרַי  have risen against me, the rest of the world has come to doubt me. I have become an object of derision — הָיִיתִי חֶרְפָּה  and people are ashamed of knowing me and of having any dealings with me. Particularly, I am a disgrace to my neighbors — וְלִשֲׁכֵנַי מְאֹד  who cannot entirely avoid contact with me. I have become a source of fright to my close friends  וּפַחַד לִמְיֻדָּעָי  who are afraid of having any dealings with me.
רֹאַי בַּחוּץ נָדְדוּ מִמֶּנִּי:
People who see me on the street — רֹאַי בַּחוּץ  move away from me — נָדְדוּ מִמֶּנִּי  because the sight of me is distasteful to them.
(יג) נִשְׁכַּחְתִּי כְּמֵת מִלֵּב
I have become as forgotten as a dead person — נִשְׁכַּחְתִּי כְּמֵת  for whom there is no hope of life. I have vanished from the heart — מִלֵּב  of my friends because they no longer expect me to recover from my situation.
הָיִיתִי כִּכְלִי אֹבֵד:
I have become like a lost object — הָיִיתִי כִּכְלִי אֹבֵד  which is of little value; its owners don’t remember it and don’t bother to look for it.
(יד) כִּי שָׁמַעְתִּי דִּבַּת רַבִּים 
מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב
My friends have given up on me, but I hear the active conspiracies of my many — כִּי שָׁמַעְתִּי דִּבַּת רַבִּים  enemies. They are on every side and sow terror all around  מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב .
בְּהִוָּסְדָם יַחַד עָלַי 
לָקַחַת נַפְשִׁי זָמָמוּ:
When they conspired together against me — בְּהִוָּסְדָם יַחַד עָלַי , they plotted to take my very soul — לָקַחַת נַפְשִׁי זָמָמוּ .
PART 4. RENEWAL OF BITACHON.
(טו) וַאֲנִי עָלֶיךָ בָטַחְתִּי ה' 
אָמַרְתִּי אֱלֹקַי אָתָּה:
But as for me — וַאֲנִי , even though my enemies think You have forgotten me, I have trusted in You, Hashem — עָלֶיךָ בָטַחְתִּי ה' . I said, “You are my G-d” — אָמַרְתִּי אֱלֹקַי אָתָּה . It is You that controls my life, not they.
(טז) בְּיָדְךָ עִתֹּתָי 
הַצִּילֵנִי מִיַּד אוֹיְבַי וּמֵרֹדְפָי:
In contrast to the misguided people who think their lives are controlled by chance or by demonic forces I know that my times are in Your hand  בְּיָדְךָ עִתֹּתָי . Everything that happens to me is determined by You and even the specific times that my enemies have chosen to attack me are actually Yours, not theirs. So I look to You to rescue me — הַצִּילֵנִי  both from the hand of my foes  מִיַּד אוֹיְבַי , who act out of hatred, and from my pursuers — וּמֵרֹדְפָי , who act out of greed.
(יז) הָאִירָה פָנֶיךָ עַל עַבְדֶּךָ
Shine Your face of love and goodwill upon Your servant — הָאִירָה פָנֶיךָ עַל עַבְדֶּךָ to accept my tefillah and relieve the darkness which now surrounds me. By shining Your face openly upon me, the world will see that You reward those who are devoted to You.
הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי בְחַסְדֶּךָ:
Save me in Your kindness — הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי בְחַסְדֶּךָ  because although I am as submissive as a servant to You I have no right to count on Your favor.
(יח) ה' אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה כִּי קְרָאתִיךָ
O Hashem, let me not feel disheartened — ה' אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה  and bewildered by being turned back empty-handed after having called upon You — כִּי קְרָאתִיךָ – and having committed myself to You!
יֵבֹשׁוּ רְשָׁעִים 
יִדְּמוּ לִשְׁאוֹל:
Let the resha’im who sought my doom be disheartened — יֵבֹשׁוּ רְשָׁעִים  by the defeat of their false hopes. Let them lose their self-confidence and be sent in silence to the grave — יִדְּמוּ לִשְׁאוֹל .
(יט) תֵּאָלַמְנָה שִׂפְתֵי שָׁקֶר 
הַדֹּבְרוֹת עַל צַדִּיק עָתָק בְּגַאֲוָה וָבוּז:
May their lying lips be struck dumb — תֵּאָלַמְנָה שִׂפְתֵי שָׁקֶר . Lips that were created for tefillah are instead being used for slander and deserve to be silenced. These are lips that speak — הַדֹּבְרוֹת  harshly against the righteous person  עַל צַדִּיק עָתָק  with pride and contempt — בְּגַאֲוָה וָבוּז . They arrogantly think they are happier and better.
PART 5. PRAISE AND GRATITUDE.
(כ) מָה רַב טוּבְךָ 
אֲשֶׁר צָפַנְתָּ לִּירֵאֶיךָ
How abundant is Your goodness — מָה רַב טוּבְךָ  that You have hidden away to be truly appreciated only by those who fear You — אֲשֶׁר צָפַנְתָּ לִּירֵאֶיךָ .
פָּעַלְתָּ לַחֹסִים בָּךְ 
נֶגֶד בְּנֵי אָדָם:
You have acted for the well-being of those who seek refuge in You — פָּעַלְתָּ לַחֹסִים בָּךְ  and You have done so in the presence of all men — נֶגֶד בְּנֵי אָדָם , though they walk in ignorance and do not know it.
(כא) תַּסְתִּירֵם בְּסֵתֶר פָּנֶיךָ 
מֵרֻכְסֵי אִישׁ 
תִּצְפְּנֵם בְּסֻכָּה מֵרִיב לְשֹׁנוֹת:
You conceal them in the hiding place of Your Presence  תַּסְתִּירֵם בְּסֵתֶר פָּנֶיךָ , protecting them from the schemes of arrogant men — מֵרֻכְסֵי אִישׁ . You treasure them in Your shelter — תִּצְפְּנֵם בְּסֻכָּה  and isolate them from the strife of evil tongues — מֵרִיב לְשֹׁנוֹת .
(כב) בָּרוּךְ ה' 
כִּי הִפְלִיא חַסְדּוֹ לִי בְּעִיר מָצוֹר:
I too have benefited from Hashem’s protection, and I thank Him for that: Blessed is Hashem — בָּרוּךְ ה' , for He has been wondrously kind to me — כִּי הִפְלִיא חַסְדּוֹ לִי . He has made me as secure as in a fortified city  בְּעִיר מָצוֹר .
(כג) וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְחָפְזִי 
נִגְרַזְתִּי מִנֶּגֶד עֵינֶיךָ
Even though when fortune went against me I was afraid that my sins were unforgivable and I said in my panic — וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְחָפְזִי , I am cut off from Your sight” — נִגְרַזְתִּי מִנֶּגֶד עֵינֶיךָ !
אָכֵן שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנַי בְּשַׁוְּעִי אֵלֶיךָ:
But in truth, You heard the sound of my pleas — אָכֵן שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנַי  when I cried to You — בְּשַׁוְּעִי אֵלֶיךָ  because You understood that I was sincerely penitent.
PART 6. MESSAGE TO THE NATION.
(כד) אֶהֱבוּ אֶת ה' כָּל חֲסִידָיו 
אֱמוּנִים נֹצֵר ה'
וּמְשַׁלֵּם עַל יֶתֶר עֹשֵׂה גַאֲוָה:
Having seen the kindness He has done, you should surely love Hashem in your actions, all you who are His devout ones — אֶהֱבוּ אֶת ה' כָּל חֲסִידָיו ! You see how Hashem protects the faithful — אֱמוּנִים נֹצֵר ה' , who depend on Him, but as for the one who acts haughtily, He repays him for his arrogance — וּמְשַׁלֵּם עַל יֶתֶר עֹשֵׂה גַאֲוָה .
(כה) חִזְקוּ וְיַאֲמֵץ לְבַבְכֶם 
כָּל הַמְיַחֲלִים לַה':
And to those who are desperately hoping for a yeshuah, I say, be strong — חִזְקוּ , and you will find that your hearts will take courage — וְיַאֲמֵץ לְבַבְכֶם . All you who wait longingly for Hashem — כָּל הַמְיַחֲלִים לַה'  will not be disappointed.
Living the Mizmor
Listed below are some of the lessons that you can draw from this mizmor, as well as some of the thoughts you might have in mind when you say the words of the mizmor as a tefillah, expressing your devotion to Hashem.
Lessons for Life - Your Yeshuah.
[31:2] EMBARRASSMENT. – בְּךָ ה' חָסִיתִי אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם בְּצִדְקָתְךָ פַלְּטֵנִי – “I have sought refuge with You, Hashem. Let me never feel embarrassed. In Your generous goodwill, save me.” Ask Hashem to protect you and save you for you are depending on no one but Him. Ask that you never be embarrassed at having relied on Hashem.
[31:18] – ה' אַל אֵבוֹשָׁה כִּי קְרָאתִיךָ – “Hashem, let me not feel disheartened after having called upon You.
Tefillos for Life - Your Relationship with Hashem.
[31:3] INCLINE YOUR EAR. – הַטֵּה אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ – “Incline Your ear to me.” Tell Hashem that even if your tefillah is not sufficiently worthy to ascend to Him, He should incline His ear to you and hear you.
[31:6] ENTRUSTING MY LIFE. – בְּיָדְךָ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי – “I will entrust my living spirit into Your hand.” Appeal to Hashem to save you because you depend on Him alone.
[31:17] A SHINING FACE. – הָאִירָה פָנֶיךָ עַל עַבְדֶּךָ – “Shine Your face upon Your servant.” Ask Hashem to show you His love and goodwill. By shining His face openly upon you, the world will see that Hashem rewards those who are devoted to Him.
Tehillos for Life - Contemplation of Hashem.
[31:4] FORTRESS. – כִּי סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה – “For You have been my towering Rock and You have been my Fortress.” Hashem is totally reliable, like the most impenetrable fortress.
[31:20] GOODNESS. – מָה רַב טוּבְךָ אֲשֶׁר צָפַנְתָּ לִּירֵאֶיךָ – “How abundant is Your goodness that You have hidden away for those who fear You.” Hashem’s true goodness is reserved for those who appreciate it.
Lessons for Life - Your Attitude.
[31:7] TIME TO HATE. – שָׂנֵאתִי הַשֹּׁמְרִים הַבְלֵי שָׁוְא – “I have come to hate those who depend on worthless fantasies.” Hatred of evil is sometimes necessary to avoid being caught up in it.
[31:24] LOVE AND DEVOTION. – אֶהֱבוּ אֶת ה' כָּל חֲסִידָיו – “Love Hashem, all His devout ones!” Love of Hashem must be based on your complete and faithful devotion to Him alone.
[31:25] COURAGE. – חִזְקוּ וְיַאֲמֵץ לְבַבְכֶם כָּל הַמְיַחֲלִים לַה' – “Be strong, and your hearts will take courage, all who wait longingly for Hashem.” No matter how difficult things are for you, have confidence that the yeshuah will surely come.
Lessons for Life - Your Behavior.
[31:17] A SHINING FACE. – הָאִירָה פָנֶיךָ עַל עַבְדֶּךָ – “Shine Your face upon Your servant.” Emulate the attributes of Hashem and show goodwill towards all the people in your life. Showing a smile can be a great kindness.
Lessons for Life - Your Gratitude.
[31:8] EMPATHY. – אָגִילָה וְאֶשְׂמְחָה בְּחַסְדֶּךָ אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָ אֶת עָנְיִי – “I will feel exultation. I will rejoice in Your loving kindness that You have seen my affliction.” Thank Hashem for His sympathetic and understanding care in easing your difficulties. When you realize His personal concern you should feel a burst of exultation.
[31:9] FREE WILL. – הֶעֱמַדְתָּ בַמֶּרְחָב רַגְלָי – “You have set my feet on a wide-open place.” Thank Hashem for giving you the freedom to choose your way in life. Humbly ask for His guidance in making the right choice.
[31:22] SECURITY. – בָּרוּךְ ה' כִּי הִפְלִיא חַסְדּוֹ לִי בְּעִיר מָצוֹר – “Blessed is Hashem, for He has been wondrously kind to me, [secure as] in a fortified city.” Thank Hashem for making you feel secure.
Tefillos for Life - Your Anguish.
[31:11] YEARS OF PAIN. – כִּי כָלוּ בְיָגוֹן חַיַּי וּשְׁנוֹתַי בַּאֲנָחָה – “For my life is consumed with anguish and my years with sighing.” By declaring and contemplating your suffering, you are demonstrating that its purpose has been served and your tefillah for a yeshuah should be answered.
Sources
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.
א - רשר"ה
ב - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, ספורנו, מצודות, נר לרגלי
ג - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, המאירי, ספורנו, באר אברהם, נר לרגלי
ד - רד"ק, מלבי"ם
ה - אבן יחייא, מצודות, מהר"י יעבץ, נר לרגלי
ו - אבן עזרא, רשר"ה, נר לרגלי
ז - רש"י, אבן עזרא, מצודות, באר אברהם,רשר"ה
ח - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, מצודות, מלבי"ם, רשר"ה
ט - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, נר לרגלי,
י - רד"ק, מלבי"ם, נר לרגלי
יא - מצודות, באר אברהם
יב - רש"י, אבן עזרא, מצודות, רשר"ה
יג - רש"י, רד"ק, המאירי, מצודות
יד - רש"י, רד"ק, מלבי"ם
טו - אבן עזרא, רד"ק
טז - רש"י, אבן עזרא, רד"ק, המאירי,מצודות, נר לרגלי
יז - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, המאירי, ספורנו, באר אברהם, מלבי"ם, נר לרגלי
יח - רד"ק, המאירי
יט - אבן עזרא, ספורנו, נר לרגלי, רשר"ה
כ - אבן עזרא, רשר"ה
כא - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, רשר"ה
כב - רד"ק, מצודות, באר אברהם
כג - המאירי, באר אברהם, נר לרגלי
כד - רש"י, אבן עזרא, המאירי, מצודות, באר אברהם
כה - רש"י, אבן עזרא, רד"ק,