Tag Archives: despair

Psalms 56-61; Praising in the Pit

How do you pray when life seems unbearable? Or do you?

We all know David’s life was hard. I mean, he lived for years in caves, hiding from Saul who pursued him relentlessly in order to kill him. David never knew who he could trust. He was alone and tired, frustrated and discouraged. In 57:4 he describes his life like this:

I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts — men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

But then, in the very next verse David says these words:

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

Is that your experience? Or on those days when you feel like you’re lying among ravenous beasts, do you stop praying and just focus on the beasts? Do you sit in your cave and feel sorry for yourself? Do you watch other people who don’t have your problems and ask yourself, “Why me?”

Why not take a suggestion from David’s example?

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (56:3-4)

O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. (59:17)

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (57:10)

You may be in the pit of despair, but God is worthy of praise. Praise Him! You might feel like there is no hope, but God is our hope. Praise Him! You might think you are alone, but God promises to never leave or forsake His children. Praise Him!

Praise Him just because He is, and He deserves it. Then trust Him with the details of your life.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth!

May 16 – Again And Again

Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55

There sure are a lot of psalms that speak about David’s anguish. He pleads with God. He cries out, moans, with fear and trembling. I have to admit I chuckled as I read 55:17 where David says he will complain and murmur evening, morning, and noon. At least he’s honest.

I notice that in these psalms where David is at his wits end, at the point of despair, he still trusts God. He tells God what is on his mind, and turns it all over to the Lord. I could learn something from David’s example.

What struck me today is the number of psalms that contain David’s expressions of helplessness, despair, and grief. Scripture tells us Saul, the source of much of David’s grief, pursued David for years. It wasn’t the case that Saul was mean to David, David prayed to God and complained about Saul’s unfair treatment, and God eliminated Saul.

Oh, that’s what eventually happened. But it took a lot of praying, a lot of tears, a lot of pouring himself out to the Lord, and a lot of trust in God before that happened.

My takeaway today is to take my requests to God morning, noon, and night if I need to. Lay it all out there. Again. And again.

Then trust God. Again. And again.

During those waiting years, David grew into someone who would be described as “a man after God’s own heart.” It just didn’t happen over night.

Oh God, refine me like you refined David, even when I get impatient and want my prayers answered according to my timeline. As I lay my burdens down, as I bring to You my heart’s desires, as I trust you again and again, please mold me into a woman after God’s own heart.

 

November 30

I Corinthians 15:35-16:24; Acts 20:1-6; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4

So often when people go through hard times some well-meaning person says, “God never gives us more than we can handle”. I don’t believe that is a true statement. And I believe Paul will back me up on that.

Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-11. Paul felt the sentence of death. He was so depressed he despaired even of life. “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead”. 

I believe God “gives us” just a little more than we can handle on our own so that we learn to trust him and depend on him. Paul continues to say with confidence, “(God) has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us”.

Are you going through a difficulty? Is your heart broken? Do you despair of life? Have you done everything you know how to fix it? Good. Now you can learn how much you can depend on God. You are in a position where you can realize how faithful, how strong, how compassionate is your Savior.

I believe Scripture promises when you turn it over to God, when you seek his face, he will lift you up. There is a line to a song that says, “When you come to the place where he’s all you have, you’ll find he’s all you need”.

Amen.

Dear God, I pray that we who are going through circumstances that seem to be breaking us, will seek your face. May we set aside the problem and draw close to you. May our relationship with you become more important than a solution to the problem. We are weak. We are helpless. We are broken. Lord, lift us up. In Jesus’ name.