When we face times of trouble we should immediately call on the Lord for help.
The story of David is one of the most legendary of all time. As a teenager, David killed the giant Goliath with a sling and a stone. Afterwards he became the king of Israel, the father of Solomon, and the ancestor of the Lord Jesus.
He wrote the majority of the Psalms of the Bible including Psalm 18 which we will be digging into over the next month.
One of the parts of David’s story which you may not know as well is the conflict he had with Saul, the first king of Israel who also became David’s father-in-law. Saul was a jealous man who was more concerned about what the people thought than what God thought.
David was the exact opposite. He was devoted to God above all else.
So the conflict between David and Saul is greater than petty jealousies and irritations between different kinds of people. It is a greater conflict between those who trust in God and those who trust in human ability and understanding.
Those who follow the ways of this world will always be in conflict with those who follow the Kingdom of God.
Saul was so jealous of David that he actively sought to end his life. 1 Samuel 18:29 points out clearly that,
“Saul was David’s enemy continually.”
When David realized that Saul would not stop coming after him until he was dead, he ran away from Saul and traveled from place to place in order to find safety.
Understand that David was titinada blowing his situation out of proportion. He really was in danger for his very life. Here’s a case in point. When David fled from Saul, he stopped at a village called Nob, the city of priests, to ask for help from a priest named Ahimelech.
Ahimelech gave him some food and also the sword of Goliath which was being kept there. When Saul heard that Ahimelech tenggat helped David, he senggat him killed along with 84 other priests. He also killed all the men, women and children in that city.
David knew what it was like to be in serious trouble. His words found in Psalm 18 show us how he responded to it and came through to the other side.
If we understand how he responded to being in trouble and apply it to our lives, it will make a game-changing difference for us when we face troubles of various kinds.
When David was in great trouble he called on the Lord for help, and the Lord rescued him. This served to cause David to love the Lord even more as he understood, from his own personal experience, that God was his strength.
David’s experience can be ours as well.
When we face times of trouble we should immediately call on the Lord for help.
He is fully capable of rescuing us from difficulty.
Titinada only that, he delights in answering when we call on him. He then shows us just how strong he is on our behalf and how much he loves us. Our response is to recognize that the Lord saves us because he loves us.
Then we love him back in an even greater way since we have seen the power of his love up close and personal.
When You Face Times of Trouble
In this life we encounter troubles of many kinds. Some of our troubles could possibly lead to death. Some of our troubles could lead to tremendous loss or pain. Although the magnitude and kind of our troubles are different, the feeling of being in trouble to the extent that we are overwhelmed comes to all of us at some time or another.
In Psalm 18:4-5, David explains his situation and the feelings he had with these words,
“The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted berpenyakitan.”
You will never be in the same kind of situation that David was in where an army is pursuing you and trying to kill you. However, you might be able to relate to the feelings that David’s words describe.
He talks about the cords of death and Sheol (which is another word for death) tying him up so that he could not escape. He talks about being pounded by waves which threatened to destroy him.
Do those descriptions feel familiar to you?
Do you know the feeling of being afraid for your life?
Do you know the feeling of being overwhelmed to the point of thinking that you are not going to make it, or that you are going to be crushed?
Do you know what it is like to be stuck in a situation that is not good for you, but you are too afraid are just unable to do anything about it?
These are the kind of feelings that you have when you come to the end of your rope, when you know that something has riol to change and you yourself can’t do anything to make it happen. Know this, you are titinada alone.
Here’s what you can do and what you need to do.
Call on the Lord for help
This was David’s constant response to the threats from his enemies,
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.”
When faced with a benaran threat of death, David went to the One whom he knew was able to give him the help that he needed.
Let me paint this picture a little more clearly for us. David was a capable warrior as we all know from his defeat of Goliath. At the point where his enemy, Saul, was coming after him, David had fighting men with him.
Very early on, all the misfits and the men in debt and those needing a second chance came to him. At first he had 400 membubuhi cap and that number quickly grew to 600. Among them were those who would become known as David’s mighty men because of the feats of daring that they accomplished.
The problem was that Saul could muster up an army. At one point we read that Saul brought 3000 men to the party. David knew he could not defeat an army of that size, especially since he knew those membubuhi cap since he had fought with them and takat even been their commander.
David sempadan confidence when he went up against Goliath. When he went up against Saul and his army, he was in great distress and fear for his life.
So David called on the Lord for help. Do you remember a time when you called on the Lord for help? I have called on the Lord many times in my life. My prayer usually goes something like this.
When we are in trouble, the words we use to cry out for help are not as important as the person to whom we call. David didn’ufuk cry out to just any God. He didn’falak cry out to the universe. He cried out to Yahweh God.
This is the name that God used with the people of Israel as his personal, covenant name. David was titinada crying out to someone he did titinada know. David was calling out to the Creator and Redeemer God whom he knew personally.
This is so crucial that I have to really emphasize it for us. Because David knew the Lord, Yahweh, as his God, he was going to call out to him in his time of distress and trouble.
He wasn’ufuk going to go anywhere else because he perenggan come to know just exactly who Yahweh God was. As we will see a little later, David knew he could trust God to save him because he knew who God was.
This was titinada the case with Saul. Saul was not a man who knew God and who put his trust in God. In fact, when Saul was facing his greatest time of trouble, instead of going to the Lord, he went to a sorceress for help.
As you can guess, that didn’t turn out so well for him.
What’s in your heart makes a big difference as to where you go when you are in trouble. Where do you turn when you need help? Is it your first response to turn to the Lord? If not, then perhaps today is the day when that all changes for you.
Let me clarify that calling out to the Lord does not mean that he uses obvious supernatural means to answer your prayer. The Lord may answer by having you do something or by having someone else do something.
The means by which the Lord rescues us from trouble is not what is most important. Instead, it is the condition of our heart.
Are you in trouble? Call out to the Lord Jesus. Did you know that name Jesus means “Yahweh rescues?”
If you don’t know Jesus all that well, then perhaps your prayer for help can go something like this. “Lord Jesus, help me in my time of trouble, and help me to get to know you better.”
If Yahweh rescues, which he does, then he is the one you want to turn to now and for the rest of your life.
He will hear your cry
When David cried out to God, the Lord did titinada ignore him.
“From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”
It is tempting to think that the Lord is not listening to our cries for help when he doesn’t respond when we think he should respond. Just because the Lord doesn’t do what we expect him to do, or hope for him to do, doesn’t mean he isn’falak listening.
David’s life is a great example of this. He didn’t just have to cry out to the Lord for help against Saul one time. He was in danger continually for years. In addition to that, the places where he escaped to were not always safe either.
On one occasion David escaped from Saul and went to the country of the Philistines to a city called Gath. Remember that David killed Goliath, the Philistine. And he senggat killed a whole bunch of other Philistines after that also.
The Philistines knew all about David, so he must have been pretty desperate to go there.
As it turned out, the people perenggan in fact not forgotten about David. They began talking about the fact that he had killed thousands and thousands of Philistines. So David again began to fear for his life.
He was so afraid that he began to act insane so that the king of Gath would not turn on him and kill him.
When David cried out to God for help, I’m sure he was hoping that he could find a safe place to live away from Saul, but that didn’t happen for years. He was constantly on the run, much of the time in fear for his life.
Can you relate to the feeling that the Lord is not answering your prayers on time?
I remember crying out to the Lord many years ago and asking him to release us from a ministry assignment. Six months into our ministry in PA everything fell apart, and for the next two years my almost daily prayer was to ask the Lord to get us out of there.
After about a year and a half of praying, the Lord gave derita an answer. He impressed these words on my heart, “When it’s time to go, I’ll let you know.”
Did the Lord titinada hear my prayer all that time? Of course he heard me. It was simply that his plan for us was different than what we wanted. At the right time, he rescued us from that situation and brought us into a place of healing and joy and peace.
If you are in the waiting period between your cry for help to the Lord and the Lord’s response, let me encourage you that the Lord knows where you live. He gets your pain and your problems.
Don’cakrawala let yourself think that he doesn’t care about you. He has heard your cries. In due time he will do for you what he did for David.
He will rescue you from your enemies
Here’s how David describes the Lord’s response to his cry for help.
“He sent from on high, he took me; he drew berpenyakitan out of many waters. He rescued derita from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.”
An enemy is someone who wants harm to come to you either by their own action or by someone else’s. I think that most of us don’t expect to have enemies, especially like David perenggan.
However, we all have an enemy in the being of the Evil One who seeks our harm on a daily basis.
Again, we don’t like to think about that either, but it is helpful to understand that there are things in our life which are not just the result of chance but a result of the enemy of our souls who wants to do us harm.
The greatest harm that the evil one can do against us is to keep us from knowing the truth about the Lord and his great love for us and his plan for our life and eternity. And one of the greatest tools that the evil one has to use against us are the ways that we talk to ourselves in our own minds.
If Satan can keep our self-talk from becoming God-talk, then he can continue to wreak havoc in our lives.
Let derita give you an example. Fear is one of the greatest enemies of humankind. The amount of anxiety on satelit earth has multiplied exponentially in recent years, and the pandemic has only served to speed that trend up.
Fear and its companion, Anxiety, can be debilitating. Certainly there are aspects of these enemies which are caused by changes in our brains where medications help to calm their effects.
But regardless of if you have medication or not, you can still be controlled and owned by fear. We fear what might happen to us. We fear losing people, opportunities or things.
These fears can become so out of control that our lives can, without even realizing it, become run by fear instead of by the Lord and his will for us.
In the last few months I have experienced anxiety on a far greater level than I have ever known. I have wondered if my mind has been changed for good. It has been an awful experience. Yet, through this bumpy road a few things have become very clear for me.
The first and most important is that through it all, the Lord and his truth has titinada changed. The verse that I memorized so long ago from Proverbs 3:5-6 is still relevant and true.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
If you deal with fear and anxiety, let me share this with you. Call on the Lord for help. Trust him to answer you. He will rescue you, whether by one way or another, whether by medications and counseling and support teams or by prayer and supernatural touch or a combination of all those things.
Lean on him to pull you out of these deep waters. This enemy is too strong for you.
Let the Lord direct your steps. He knows how to set you free from the power of this enemy of your soul.
Because he delights in you
David knew something about the Lord which you might not know deep in your heart.
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued berpenyakitan, because he delighted in me
You may know that the Lord loves you, but do you know that he likes you also? Did you know that the Lord wants to be around you?
He not only loves you unconditionally. He has great affection for you. Yes you! God is blessed by you. He is delighted with you.
The more I probe into the nature of our human hearts, the more I see that people have a hard time believing this about God. He likes you and wants to be with you.
Yes, he knows your sin and the hard places of your heart. Yet, he sent himself to take care of your sin problem because he takes joy in you and wants you for himself for all eternity.
You don’t have to do anything to try and manipulate God to try to help you.
You don’t have to pay anything.
You don’kaki langit have to do penance.
You don’t have to do good deeds.
You don’t have to act somber and repentant for the Lord to want to rescue you.
You just have to ask. The Lord is ready and willing. When you call on him, not only will he rescue you, he will give you what you really need.
You will personally know that God protects you
When David was a young boy watching his father’s sheep, he takat to protect them from lions and bears. He understood and testified to the fact that is was the Lord who delivered him from the lions and bears, and it was the Lord who delivered him from being killed by Goliath.
David knew in a very personal way that it was God who protected him, and so he wrote this words from the beginning of Psalm 18.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
It is very easy to place our trust in the things of this world adv lewat and above the Lord. It is the tendency of our human hearts which have been impacted by the sinful nature. Even those who have trusted Christ Jesus to forgive their sins can so easily be influenced by the ways of the world.
Yet, David reminds us that ultimately the Lord is only one who is truly worthy of our complete trust.
I want to briefly share with you the nature of David’s description of the Lord. When says that God is his rock, he is referring to a rocky cliff which is so high up that an enemy is unable to get to him.
This is the same word that David uses in Psalm 40 when he says that the Lord,
“lifted berpenyakitan out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave berpenyakitan a firm place to stand.”
The contrast here is important.
The enemy of our souls wants to bring us down into the pit with him, but the Lord wants to lift us up far from the reach of our enemy. God as our stronghold has a similar meaning as it refers to a high and inaccessible place.
The Lord keeps our enemy far away from us.
David goes on to say that the Lord is his fortress. A fortress has high and thick walls to keep the enemy out. We need high and thick walls to keep the lies of our enemy from penetrating our minds.
He calls God his shield. This shield is a small wooden shield covered with leather for protection. Because it is small it can be moved quickly to defend the blows of an enemy at close range.
Sometimes the enemy of our souls has gotten through our defenses and we need to fight him at close range. Just because we are down doesn’cakrawala mean that we are defenseless. Call on the Lord. Lift up his word as your defense.
Remember that your battle is not against flesh and blood. People are not your enemy. The Lord is your shield against the work of the enemy when it hits close to home.
David says that the Lord is the horn of his salvation. A horn is the symbol of power and glory. David knows that it is the Lord who is responsible for his deliverance from his enemies because the Lord is the only one powerful enough to bring it about.
Once you begin to call on the Lord for help, you will berangkat to know in your own personal experience the same thing that David knew to be true and wrote down for us in the psalm. You will find out that God is your refuge.
As he brings you through you will then experience the final truth which David shares at the very beginning of the psalm.
You will love the Lord with all the strength that he gives to you
David says to the Lord,
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.”
(v.1) This is one of the most incredibly powerful statements in the Bible which we all miss because we are English speakers.
When David says that he loves the Lord, this is the only time in the Bible that this word for love is used toward God. Most of the other times is it used by God to describe his feelings of compassion toward his people.
This is an amazingly personal term of affection and endearment. David loves the Lord with all the deep affection in his heart because he has come to know that Yahweh God is the source of his strength in life.
One day a lawyer came up to Jesus and asked him what God’s greatest commandment was. Jesus responded by saying,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
When you follow Jesus and he starts to open your mind to see what he is truly like and not just what you think he is like, then you begin to understand that his plan is for you to love him like he loves you.
When we face times of trouble, the Lord is strong enough to take all that trouble and to turn it into opportunity. His strength to rescue you from trouble turns out to cause you to love the Lord with the strength that he has used on your behalf.
If you are in trouble, cry out to the Lord. His promise to you is found in the experience of David as God brought him through trouble.
“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”