Prayers for a Hurting Heart

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Psalms

Psalms 140-143, “Prayers for a Hurting Heart”

Ever get depressed?  Ever feel hopeless?  We get the idea sometimes that Christians aren’t supposed to feel that way.  Some of you may not have even have wanted to walk through the doors tonight because you didn’t feel like putting on your “Church face” to be around other believers.  Let’s be honest tonight: sometimes life truly hurts.  Sometimes things are really, really bad, and Christians do experience bouts of hopelessness.

David experienced exactly the same thing.  All four of the psalms tonight were written by David.  All four speak of trials, depression, and the urgent need for deliverance.  For those who would claim, “Christians never suffer!  You are a child of the King, and all you need to do is speak the word, and God will change your circumstances!” – David puts the lie to their words.  David was truly a man after God’s own heart, and yet he suffered in immense ways.  Close friends, mentors, and family members betrayed him – David betrayed himself through his own sin – people waited for his downfall like vultures circling over prey.  Sometimes this went on for months or longer.  David truly knew what it was like to suffer.  David also knew how to deal with his suffering: he turned to the Lord.  The heaviness of life may have been pressing down upon him, but David would not stop trusting the Lord his God, no matter what & no matter how long it took.

Psalms 140-143 are honest prayers…prayers flowing from a hurting heart.  When trials and depression come upon you, what do you (as a child of God through Jesus Christ) do?  The same thing that David did: turn your eyes upon the Lord and keep them there.  No matter what the circumstances, no matter how long it takes – keep your eyes upon your loving Savior.

Psalm 140 (NKJV) – Protection from Others
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

Protection from evil words (vss. 1-3)
1 Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men,

  • The wording here is similar with both halves of the verse (typical Hebrew parallelism), but notice how the thought expands.  David certainly prays for deliverance (salvation), but he does so in two ways. (1) Bring me out, (2) Bring me through.
  • Bring me out = “Deliver me.”  This is what we typically think of when it comes to deliverance.  God strengthens us, and takes us out of a situation, or somehow puts off the enemy.  This is indeed a good prayer!  This is exactly what we’ve experienced in regards to the wrath of God due to our sin.  He’s taken us out of that path, and given us a relationship and inheritance with Him.  Of course, we can always pray for deliverance in our current circumstances as well, as David does.
  • Bring me through = “Preserve me.” This is the other side of deliverance that we might not normally consider.  Sometimes the way God helps us is not by removing us from a situation, but equipping us to endure it.  He preserves us, and helps us hold up under the pressure in a way that can only give glory to God.

2 Who plan evil things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war. 3 They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah

  • Evil is planned.  David was dealing with people who actively sought his hurt.
  • Evil is spoken.  Words may have sounded smooth at first, but they were deadly.  David knew what it was like to have people conspire against him, and it hurt.
  • This isn’t only true of the people we might normally think of as “wicked.”  This is true of ALL of us!  Paul quoted this to the Romans about the depravity inherent in all people (in fact, he quoted much from Pss 140-143). Romans 3:13, "“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”;" []  Much of what comes out our lips demonstrate what is in our hearts.  Prior to knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, many of us had poisonous lips!

Protection from evil actions (vss. 4-5)
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, Who have purposed to make my steps stumble. 5 The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside; They have set traps for me. Selah

  • David is aware of the traps laid for him by his enemy, and he prays for help.  Why can God help?  Because the All-knowing God can see ANY trap.  Who better to pray for help to, than Almighty God?  He can steer us clear of the enemy, and guide us away from traps.
  • We also have an enemy who would like to humble us (actually to kill us) through his traps.  We can also appeal to God for help!

Prayer for favor (vss. 6-8)
6 I said to the LORD: “You are my God; Hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.

  • Notice David’s affirmation.  Obviously God knows those who worship and trust Him, and yet David still makes the point of saying “You are my God.”  Why?  David is affirming through prayer his covenant relationship with the Lord.  He’s basically stating, “God, I am under Your protection.”
  • Through Jesus Christ, we have a covenant relationship with God.  We can appeal to Him as His servants.  More than that, we can appeal to Him as His children!

7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.

  • David’s salvation was based in the strength of God.  David’s protection (covering) came by the hand of God.
  • Did you notice the capital “GOD” instead of “LORD”?  Here, “GOD” is the same covenant name of God that is normally seen elsewhere as “LORD.”  Yahweh/Jehovah is normally translated as LORD, but because the specific Hebrew word for “Lord” is used here (Adonai), the translators chose a different word for Yahweh.  The point?  There is ONE covenant keeping creator God: Yahweh!  David knows upon Whom his salvation and protection rests, and it’s the covenant God.

8 Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; Do not further his wicked scheme, Lest they be exalted. Selah

  • Praying for divine intervention.
  • How so?  God is omnipotent & sovereign.  There’s nothing God cannot accomplish, if it is His will.  We may not always see our will applied through our prayers, but there’s nothing stopping us from expressing our desires to God in prayer.  If God so chooses, He certainly CAN intervene, and do whatever He wants.  If God chooses not to intervene, then we simply trust His sovereignty and goodness.

Imprecatory prayer (vss. 9-11)
9 “As for the head of those who surround me, Let the evil of their lips cover them; 10 Let burning coals fall upon them; Let them be cast into the fire, Into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

  • Praying that his enemies would be caught in their own trap. [Per Haman in the book of Esther.]
  • More than that, David is praying for his enemies’ total destruction.  As the righteous God, God WILL judge all sin, and David appeals for God to act in His righteousness as He did during the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • How much this sounds like the promised defeat of Satan!  Upon Jesus’ return and the fulfillment of the Millennial Kingdom, Satan WILL be cast into the deep pit with the lake of fire, and never rise up again!

11 Let not a slanderer be established in the earth; Let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him.”

  • Beyond David’s own personal trials, he prays for God’s justice to be known in all the earth.  May the slanderers (like the devil) cease & have their evil plans foiled.
  • In many ways, this is a legitimate prayer request today, but a true expectation only for the Millennial Kingdom.  When Jesus reigns in perfect righteousness, no slanderer will be established, and God’s perfect justice will be enforced all over the world.

Faith in God’s justice (vss. 12-13)
12 I know that the LORD will maintain The cause of the afflicted, And justice for the poor. 13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence.

  • David has complete faith in the Lord that God will do this thing.  God WILL be just, and God WILL protect those who are in need.
  • Because God WILL do this, what is our response?  (1) Give thanks!  (2) Dwell with God.  Both now in this life, and in the promise of the Millennial Kingdom, we can dwell with God giving Him thanks for His righteousness, justice, and deliverance.

 

Psalm 141 (NKJV) – Protection from Self
A Psalm of David.

Help me (vss. 1-2)
1 LORD, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.

  • There’s a desperation here – an urgent need for God to hurry.
  • Sometimes in our desire for our prayers to “sound right,” we can so much affirm God’s own sovereign timing, that we downplay our own desperate need for immediate action.  It doesn’t need to be that way – and David proves it.  Obviously God is going to act in His own timing, and that is something we need to remember.  BUT we can be honest enough in our prayers to convey our urgency to the Lord.  We don’t need to downplay our own trials in a supposed need to sound theologically “safe.”  God already knows the desires of our heart before we ask Him, so there’s no reason to make it seem like “Oh my problem isn’t any real big deal…just get to it whenever.”  No.  If you have an urgent need, take it before the Lord urgently.  You can uphold the seriousness of your trial AND affirm the sovereignty of God at the same time.

2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

  • Incense typically represents prayer unto God.  This was the whole point of the incense altar in the tabernacle & temple…  We see the same thing in the book of Revelation (Rev 5:8).
  • David’s point is that he’s asking for God to pay attention to his prayers.  That David’s worship would be as a sacrifice to God, and his prayers as the incense offering.  These are the things that God would see in the tabernacle worship, and thus David’s praying that God would see his prayers in the same way.
  • We can be assured that God hears our prayers.  How?  We have an intercessor: Christ Jesus!  Romans 8:31–34, "(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. (34) Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." []  God hears us!  Jesus prays for us!  God will act on our behalf!

Keep my from sin (vss. 3-5a) – three ways.
3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

  • Protection #1: guard my mouth.  James warns us about the danger of our tongues.  It’s a fire (Jas 3:6) – it’s an unruly evil (Jas 3:8).  Pray that God would help us use our words wisely.  Instead of responding to sinful acts with sinful words, may God help us watch our lips.

4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice wicked works With men who work iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

  • Protection #2: guard my heart.  David understood that anyone could be tempted with evil – and it was demonstrated in his own life when he gazed longingly upon a bathing woman named Bathsheba.  We need the help of God to guard our hearts to help us remain pure.
  • Protection #3: guard my friendships.  If David was around men who worked iniquity, and partook of what they gained through sin, David would easily be caught up in sin with them.  We need to be careful with our friendships!  We can be friendly and gracious to all, but cautious regarding those whom we entrust ourselves.

5 Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. …

  • Instead of bad influences from friends, David prays that he might be open to good influences.  He asks for God’s help in receiving and recognizing godly counsel.
  • The proverbs speak of this at length!  Proverbs 27:5–6, "(5) Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. (6) Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." []  Better to be rebuked and withdraw from sin, than to remain unchastised & unchanged!

Protection from the wicked (vss. 5c-7)
…For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked. 6 Their judges are overthrown by the sides of the cliff, And they hear my words, for they are sweet.

  • David understand the danger of being counted among the wicked.  He doesn’t want to give into wickedness because he understands that one day there will be a judgment.

7 Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave, As when one plows and breaks up the earth.

  • Although David speaks of “our bones,” the reference seems to be the evil judges that were thrown off a cliff.  Their bones would be scattered across the land, just as rocks are scattered across farmland to be plowed up.
  • Underscores an important truth: everyone dies.  10 out of 10 people die, and we need to be ready for that day.  It doesn’t matter how much power an individual may wield on earth; one day they will stand before God and give an account for their life.  As the author of Hebrews says, it’s appointed man to die once, and then face the judgment (Heb 9:27).

Trusting God’s Protection (vss. 8-10)
8 But my eyes are upon You, O GOD the Lord; In You I take refuge; Do not leave my soul destitute. 9 Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, And from the traps of the workers of iniquity. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I escape safely.

  • God can save us from ourselves
  • God can save us from the temptations and snares around us
  • We don’t HAVE to give into those things!  God can help us “escape safely.

 

Psalm 142 (NKJV) – Help when Abandoned
A Contemplation Of David. A Prayer When He Was in the Cave.

  • There were (at least) two occasions in which David had hid in caves when fleeing from Saul.  1 Sam 22 was the first, when David had just escaped from the Philistines (by pretending insanity), and he went to the cave of Adullam.  It was when he was hiding there that he first started to gather his army of mighty men.  The 2nd time was in 1 Sam 24 when David hid in the caves around En Gedi, and cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.  Which is the occasion from Ps 142?  We cannot say for certain – but the cave of Adullam is a good assumption.  Ps 142 speaks of David’s abandonment and depression – and when he first fled to the cave of Adullam, David was truly alone after having left everything behind to save his life.

Appeal to God (vss. 1-2)
1 I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.

  • Another honest prayer from David.  In Ps 141 he was in urgent need; in Ps 142 he’s just despondent.  David had nowhere else to go.  He couldn’t go to the king for help, because the king was out to destroy him.  He couldn’t go to other nations for help, because they were the enemies of Israel.  The only hope he had was the Lord, so David appealed to God in earnestness, continually going before Him, laying out all of his concerns.
  • There are times for all of us that we have nowhere else to turn.  We’ve run out of options, and there’s nothing that we can do.  Thankfully for the Christian, the one hope that is left is really our only hope all along: the Lord Jesus.  We always have an advocate in Christ!  We always have an intercessor in Him.  We always have the Spirit groaning for us in words we do not understand. 

Abandonment by others (vss. 3-4)
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me. 4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.

  • David was overwhelmed & abandoned.  When David couldn’t think, God knew what was best & where David was heading.  God knew the traps that were laid for David – God was witness to the fact that everyone had abandoned him.
  • Put aside the idea for deliverance for a bit, and consider this simple fact: God knows what you’re going through.  Even better that we know the situations ourselves, God knows exactly what it is that we face, and what will need to be done in response.  Nothing that we endure is a surprise to God; He knows. … That may not seem like too much of a comfort at first.  After all, it’s one thing for your friend to know what you’re going through, but although you appreciate his/her sympathy & prayers, those may be the only things they can offer.  Yet we’re not talking about mere humans; we’re talking about GOD.  Whatever your trial, GOD knows.  What comfort!
    • It’s a sign of His great love for you in Christ Jesus.  Almighty Infinite God pays personal attention to the path of your life.  There’s no doubt that God knows everything about you – your past, your future, everything.  And God STILL extended His love to you in Jesus Christ!
    • Because it is God, we can console ourselves in the fact that He wouldn’t let us endure anything that He would not equip us to face.  That’s not to agree with the commonly quoted, “God will not give you anything you cannot handle,” (which is actually an out-of-context paraphrase of 1 Cor 10:13, “…will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able…”).  There are many things in life in which we cannot bear the trials.  There are pains that are inconceivable (emotionally and physically), and some people try to say, “Well at least God thinks I can bear it because He wouldn’t give me anything I can’t bear.”  That’s not what the Scripture says!  What the Scripture DOES affirm is that whatever we face, God will give us HIS strength and grace to endure.  WE cannot bear it, but GOD can.  It is too much for us in ourselves, but God’s grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).  It is too hard to handle, but as Paul learned in his own suffering, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).  David knew that everyone else had left him, except God.  And ultimately, God would watch over him and equip him.  God does the same with you and me.

Hope in God (vss. 5-7)
5 I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.

  • No one else seemed to care for David’s soul, so David cried out to God.  His one hope was the LORD.  We can always cry out to the Lord!  Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Pet 5:7)
  • God was David’s “refuge” – his place of protection.  God was David’s “portion” – his living inheritance.

6 Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

  • Basically praying, “Raise me up again so that I can praise You.  Surround me again with righteous people through Your grace.”  David was alone – basically imprisoned in that cave, unable to go back to Jerusalem or even to Bethlehem.  He was on the run, and the person who pursued his life was none other than the powerful King Saul.  David needed the help of Someone infinitely stronger than Saul: Almighty God.
  • In response to God’s future deliverance, David vows to praise the Lord.  There’s no doubt in David’s mind that God would indeed show him grace (“for You shall deal bountifully with me”), and David is prepared to praise the Lord.  Not that David couldn’t lift up praises in his cave – but David couldn’t publicly go to the tabernacle and worship God along with the rest of God’s people.  He looked forward to the day that he could worship freely without fear…and he knew that God would do it.
  • Who do we have as our Deliverer?  The Lord Jesus.  Even our strongest enemy (Satan) is no match for Him!  Our deliverance is assured, and we can praise our God wherever we are.  God HAS dealt bountifully with us (if for no other reason) because He has forgiven us through Jesus Christ and made us His own children!

 

Psalm 143 (NKJV) – Help when Overwhelmed
A Psalm of David.

Plea to be heard (vss. 1-2)
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.

  • Familiar prayer of David, asking to be heard by the Lord.  The king of Israel (perhaps present, perhaps future, depending when he wrote this) was appealing to the ultimate King of kings of all the universe.  David was familiar with the courtesies of the royal court.  Someone couldn’t just waltz into the presence of the king & demand anything he wanted; he had to be invited in & given permission to speak.  That’s exactly what David is asking here.
    • Thankfully we have the assurance that Jesus has permanently given us access to the throne room of God!  God has already invited us to come before Him with all of our prayers and supplication – permission has been granted because we are the sons and daughters of God through Christ!
  • God answers the prayers of His people.  How?
    • In His faithfulness.  Because God was the covenant God of the nation, David was confident that God would be faithful to His promises & answer prayer.  Likewise with us.  God is utterly faithful.  There is not a single promise of which God will not prove Himself to be true.
    • In His righteousness.  God is going to answer prayer faithfully, and He will also answer prayer righteously.  This ought to give us a lot of hope when we pray.  What would happen if we mistakenly pray for the wrong outcome?  God will answer rightly.  God know what is best, and He is going to answer prayer according to His righteous will.  (Thus the key for us is simply to pray!)

2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

  • Of all of the things David is praying that God would do, the one thing David prays that God wouldn’t do is judge him.  Why?  Because David understands his own sin.  It wasn’t just other people that were deserving of death; David deserved the same thing.
  • Likewise with all of us.  ALL of us have sinned in the sight of God, and “no one living is righteous.”  Paul affirms the same thing to the Romans, quoting the psalms back to them (from Ps 14): Romans 3:10–11, "(10) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; (11) There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God." [] Summarized:  Romans 3:23, "(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," []  If God were to judge us according to our sin, we would be without hope!  Even the so-called “best” of us would fail terribly according to the perfect standard of God.  At some point in all of our lives, we’ve asserted ourselves above God in pride, thereby breaking the first commandment.  Not to mention all of the times we’ve lied, or lusted after people or things, dishonored our parents, etc.  To break only one of the commandments is to be guilty of the whole law and to place us square in the righteous wrath of God.  Truly no human being living is righteous – all of us are sinners in need of forgiveness.
    • This is where the love, grace, and compassion of the Lord Jesus comes in!  We are unrighteous, but Jesus is righteous.  We had all sin, and Jesus is without sin.  When Jesus died upon the cross, He didn’t go there because HE deserved it, but because YOU did.  He died for sinners like you & me!  When we receive His forgiveness by receiving Him as Lord, God passes over our deserved judgment.  God had already doled out our judgment upon Jesus, so there’s nothing left for us.  Praise God for the grace of Jesus!

The problem (vss. 3-4)
3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in darkness, Like those who have long been dead. 4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart within me is distressed.

  • Pursued to the point of death, David is left in a deep depression.  There ought to be no doubt – the language here is so terribly clear.  He is “persecuted…crushed…in darknesss…overwhelmed…distressed.”  David certainly knew how to praise God, but this doesn’t exactly describe a man who was filled with the ‘joy of the Lord’ at the time.  David was legitimately sorrowful and depressed.
  • Have you ever felt this way?  Have you ever thought you were sinning if you did?  Depression is NOT sin.  It IS a problem that needs to be dealt with, but it is most certainly not a sin.  David obviously felt this way.  Jeremiah seems to have felt this way on occasion.  Charles Spurgeon was known to struggle with depression throughout his life.  Even Jesus said prior to going to the cross that His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even to death (Mt 26:38).  Depression doesn’t make someone a bad Christian; it simply means they are depressed.  Whether the cause is clinical or not does not reflect on someone’s maturity in Christ.  The sooner the Church rids itself of that idea, the better.

The solution (vss. 5-6)
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah

  • In David’s case, how did he deal with his own depression?  First, he turned his attention to the past works of God.  When David couldn’t see or focus upon what God was doing in the present, he looked back and remembered what God had done in the past. … There’s a great example of this principle when God told Joshua to pick up memorial stones from the bottom of the Jordan river (Josh 4)… We’ve got our own memorial stone: the Cross!  Whenever there is a doubt in our life of how God has worked, we can always look back to the cross of Jesus Christ. …
  • Secondly, David actively looked to God and longed for Him.  Even if David did not understand what God was doing in the present day, David was determined to keep seeking Him in prayer and worship.
    • We have to make the intentional decision to trust God.  Circumstances on all sides may be telling us that we have no hope, or no way to endure.  It doesn’t matter what circumstances are when we are in Christ.  Trust your God.  Make the decision to place yourself in His hands, and continually look to Him even when everything else is beyond comprehension.

Prayer for deliverance (vss. 7-12)
Stanza 1 (vss. 7-8)
7 Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit. 8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.

  • Again, we see an urgent call for help.  David needed help quick (even if he didn’t start the prayer that way, he knew he needed it).  How soon?  By the dawn’s light in the morning, if possible!  David needed some way of knowing that God had heard his prayer, and would answer according to God’s own “chesed” lovingkindness.
  • Notice the affirmation here.  Each stanza is going to have an affirmation; here it is “for in You do I trust.”  David underscores his trust in the Lord.  God’s face may have seemed hidden, but David chooses to trust God.  David belongs to the Lord, and that’s not going to change, no matter what.
  • Prays also for guidance: “cause me to know the way in which I should walk.”  Remember that David felt as if he was in darkness – he needed someone else to help guide him out of that place.  Like the blind man who relies on another person to be his “eyes,” so does David rely upon the Lord God to let him know what to do in his situation.
    • It ought to be common sense for the Christian, but we need to be reminded to rely upon the Lord to guide us.  It’s easy to get advice from well-meaning friends and acquaintances – but what happens what that advice does not match up with the clear teaching of Scripture?  God knows the way in which we should walk; trust Him to make the best way known to you!

Stanza 2 (vss. 9-10)
9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; In You I take shelter. 10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

  • Protect me.  David has the familiar prayers for deliverance and shelter.  Whether God take him away from those problems, or give him protection in the midst, all David is asking for is some kind of protection in the Lord.  (Which is he assured to receive.)
  • Teach me.  Again, David prays that God would lead him, and tell him what he needs to do.  To be sure, we can always pray for God to teach us what to do in certain instances, but we also have something that David could have only dreamt of: the full canon of Scripture.  When it comes to how we are to live our lives, there’s no reason to doubt because God has already told us – we just need to read the transcript of what He said.
  • Affirmation: “You are my God; Your Spirit is good.”  Along the lines of his first affirmation, David chooses to trust in God.  But he also expands and affirms his trust in the goodness of God.  It’s one thing to recite the truth that God is sovereign; it’s another thing to choose to believe that God is good.  We can believe that God is our sovereign King without thinking that He truly is good in everything He does.  But He IS good.  God is the standard by which all goodness may be judged.  Yes, there are things that God allows us to go through that are NOT good, but God Himself is ALWAYS good.

Stanza 3 (vss. 11-12)
11 Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. 12 In Your mercy cut off my enemies, And destroy all those who afflict my soul; For I am Your servant.

  • Quicken me – give me life again!  He was at the point of death; what he needs is life.  God is the one that can grant that through His deliverance.  What felt like an end could have a new beginning, by the intervention of God – and that’s exactly David’s prayer.
  • Fight for me.  Whatever is going on in David’s life, David can’t do anything about his enemies, but God can.  So David calls upon the Lord to do exactly that.  Likewise for us.  Our battle isn’t against flesh & blood, but against spiritual powers and principalities.  We go to the Lord to fight our battles for us.
  • Affirmation: “For I am Your servant.”  David had chosen to trust in God – David had chosen to affirm God’s goodness – and here, he affirms that he is under God’s covenant protection.  God would not defend David due to David’s perfect life (because he wasn’t perfect!); God would defend David because God was his God.  We are the servants of the Most High God.  We fall under His covenant protection.  Why does God defend us against attacks of the enemy?  Why would God fight on our behalf?  Surely not because of anything we’ve done!  God fights for us because we belong to Him.  We’ve been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, and sealed with the Holy Spirit.  God is OUR God, and we are HIS servants.  Thus we can trust our God to act!

Conclusion:
There may be something you’re enduring tonight in which you feel like David.  Under attack – severely tempted – abandoned – depressed.  The pressure cooker is on, and it won’t let up.  What do you do?  Intentionally call upon the Lord Jesus tonight and affirm your trust in Him.  Remember what He’s done for you already, and continually cast yourself upon His mercies, trusting in His sovereign power and goodness.

“Come on, you don’t know what I’m going through!”  You’re right…I don’t.  I can tell you my own trials and points of despair in the past, but I can’t tell you yours.  The one thing I CAN tell you is that Jesus knows exactly how you feel and what you’re going through.  David exampled his own trials – and what he endured was just a fraction of what Jesus endured.  Talk about attack: Jesus was constantly accused by the religious leaders of the day, and was beaten and crucified.  Tempted?  Jesus was tempted in a one-on-one encounter with Satan…surely He was tempted far more than any of us!  Abandoned?  The very people Jesus came to save were the people that rejected Him.  Even His own disciples scattered upon His arrest.  Jesus was left alone when He went to the cross.  And Jesus knew depression.  From the cross He cried out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”  Jesus has been there.  Jesus knows.

Tonight, affirm your trust in the Lord Jesus.  Be challenged to take your circumstances before the Lord tonight in honest prayer, lay them at His feet – and then intentionally trust your Savior and God to care for you.

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