Someone once asked me, “Why do you think David continually asked the Lord to deliver him and judge his enemies?” The best answer I could come up with was, “David was reminding himself to give it over to God instead of foolishly trying to take of it himself.” There’s nothing like trouble, tragedy, and tribulation to make you turn and trust in God. As I read Psalm 69, I couldn’t help but think of the various events and enemies that caused David to call on the Lord for help. From facing a nine-foot giant named Goliath, an evil father-in-law King Saul, a turncoat son named Absalom, to all the nations surrounding Israel that tried to harm him while he was king, David said in Psalm 69:1-2, 14-15 he was drowning in enemies. I’m not sure if you’ve ever felt this way, but it is challenging. About two years ago, I felt as though I was drowning. I looked up from the muck that sometimes accompanies the pastorate and found myself seemingly alone, under attack, without answers, and sinking up to my neck in the mire of ministry. I almost quit being a pastor. I was done. I went through several months of counseling. I reached out to two seasoned pastors, and they have been instrumental in helping me continue in my calling. It was in those months I sought the Lord like never before and allowed Him to fill me with His Spirit, heal me from some grief, remind me of who He is in me and who I am in Him, confirm my calling, and resurrect my spiritual, physical, and emotional health.
Psalm 69 lists all the ways David was struggling and conversely how God refreshed, sustained, and healed him in all those areas. See if you can identify with what he was going through. David was “worn out” and discouraged (v. 3). People hated him for no reason at all (v. 4). He faced “scorn”, “shame”, and “insults” (vv. 7, 9). Even his immediate family had abandoned him (v. 8). In the middle of this, David didn’t want these attacks to hurt others’ perception of God (v. 6). He combatted his trials with “weeping and fasting” (v. 10), and people laughed at him for it (v. 11). He faced drunk mockers (v. 12) that caused him to increase his prayer life (v. 13a). David knew the Lord would bring “favor”, “love”, and “salvation” (v. 13b). David sought God’s “goodness”, “mercy”, “face”, “rescue”, “presence”, and “deliverance” (vv. 16-18). David felt abandoned by everyone (v. 20). His enemies poisoned his food (v. 21) and set traps for him (v. 22). Talk about going through it! Sometimes when we think we are going through a rough time, we have to remember how much worse it could be! When I am troubled, I turn to the trials of others in Scripture and realize it isn’t as bad as I perceive it to be!
David turned his enemy over to the Lord and stepped up in fasting and praying instead of stooping to their level in retaliation and rage (vv. 22-28). Maybe you identified with David in his trials, but can you identify with him in his trust? Are you asking God to “protect me” (v. 29)? Are you praising God’s name and “glorifying Him with thanksgiving” (v. 30)? David reminds us that God wants our praise far more than He wants our sacrifice (v. 31). God makes our hurting hearts glad (v. 32) and hears us in our desperation (v. 33). May everything under heaven and on earth praise Him (v. 34) as He rebuilds (v. 35) and restores “those who love His name” (v. 36)!
- Do you identify with David in his problems?
- Do you identify with David in his solution?
- Are you consistently and continually turning over your problems to the Lord instead of trying to solve them yourself?
Thank you Lord for caring about all I go through. You are always aware and present in all of my battles. Thank You for being enough even when I struggle. I’ll praise you even if my struggles never go away because You are ever-present and all-powerful. May I turn my trials over to You instead of trying to handle them myself. May I pray, fast, and seek Your presence like David. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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