Psalm 132:1 is an interesting verse—“Lord, remember David and all his self-denial.”
The text goes on to recount how David put the Lord’s concerns above his own.
Self-denial is a challenging concept. We are familiar with the teaching of Jesus that in order to be one of his disciples we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow him (Mark 8:34). And we have read that we should properly align our priorities by seeking God’s kingdom first rather than our own selfish desires (Matthew 6:33).
Jesus set the example of self-denial by leaving his position in heaven to come down to earth to live and die for us (Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus describes his own self-denial in Mark 10:45, where he says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Bible continually instructs us to deny ourselves so that we can serve God and bless others. But it is difficult to do. We have this selfish sinful nature that pushes us toward seeking our own wants and desires. Self-denial is one of the most difficult of all disciplines.
I suppose the challenge is to try to live our lives so that someday someone can pray, “Lord, remember ___________________ and all his/her self-denial.”