uplifting thoughts and inspiration on faith
Have you ever gone through really hard times?
Not just the “blues” or the “blahs”. Not a little boredom. Not just having to cut back some because money is a little tight. But really scary, really lonely, really heart wrenching, question your faith, question God, tempted to doubt, hard times?
Have you ever felt guilty for having such little faith?
Were you ever sure you must be a disappointment to God?
Have you ever felt like God had abandoned you?
Have your friends and family ever told you bad things were happening to you because God was punishing you for sin?
Troubles without number surround me.
My heart fails within me.
Please come quickly to save me Lord.
O Lord, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.
I am counted with those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man who has no strength,
Adrift among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom You remember no more,
And who are cut off from Your hand.
You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In darkness, in the depths.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah
You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
You have made me an abomination to them;
I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
My eye wastes away because of affliction.
Lord, I have called daily upon You;
I have stretched out my hands to You.
Will You work wonders for the dead?
Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah
Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
But to You I have cried out, O Lord,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
Lord, why do You cast off my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;
I suffer Your terrors;
I am distraught.
Your fierce wrath has gone over me;
Your terrors have cut me off.
They came around me all day long like water;
They engulfed me altogether.
Loved one and friend You have put far from me,
And my acquaintances into darkness.
It is widely understood that David suffered at times from deep depression, loneliness, and isolation. David was chosen of God, called by God, used by God, and was called a man after God’s own heart. His very name, David, means “beloved of God” and yet he suffered and battled deep emotional pain.
Acts 13:22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
David was a man after God’s own heart. Yet we know that David sinned, David made mistakes, and David was human. He cried out to God many times in the scriptures and no doubt countless more times that are not recorded in the scriptures.
We know that David was chosen of God and we know that David still endured many unpleasant situations in his life, depression, loneliness, and times of feeling that God had abandoned him. David was in a horrible pit, his feet stuck in miry clay that held him down and God brought him out. That’s a story of triumph, right? It’s easy to read that and gloss over it. That’s great. David was sad and God made him glad. Hooray!
But why was David in the pit in the first place? Wasn’t he a man after God’s own heart? Beloved of God. Does a fair, loving, righteous God let one of His children, much less a child after His own heart suffer? Wouldn’t a good and loving father save a child from all hurt and pain? Where is love? Where is justice? What earthly father would let his own beloved child suffer? And God. God is all-powerful. What is going on?
Was God mad at David? Had David failed Him too many times? Was David being punished?
No doubt many people have sat under teaching that God WILL get you if you don’t tow the line. Walk the straight and narrow. People are told that if they are suffering it is punishment for unconfessed sin or because they have no faith. Their doubt has caused them hardship.
Suffering people hear preaching like that and go away with no comfort and no compassion. They believe they suffer because they are bad and they haven’t tried hard enough. Some put more effort into their works believing that if they go to church more or put more in the offering plate or act more “Christian” perhaps they will appease God and He will lift the suffering. They are hurting and now they are hurting AND striving to please God. The more they hurt the more they feel like complete failures and that they will never please God so why even try? The saddest part of a scenario like this is that everyone, the suffering person and the teacher has totally missed the point.
Yes, David did suffer. Yes, that is sad. Without question it was hard. It is hard and sad when anyone suffers. But when you apply The Point you are able to look at every situation differently. Instead of throwing a pity party you throw a God party. A praise party. A trust party. Sound cheesy? Sound insane? It’s what David did.
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.
Was David in a bad place? Yes he was. Was he hurting, lonely, frustrated, sad, scared, depressed, abandoned by friends, and emotionally raw? Yes he was. Did he lament and cry out? Yes he did.
God chose David to suffer at times because He knew David would be faithful. David was a powerful man. Many people admired him and followed him. Many people were watching him. David did suffer and then God used it for His glory. God used David’s suffering as a witness that his faith in the one true God was warranted. God delivered him.
Psalm 40:12-13, 17
For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!
But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
Anyone who knew David would have seen what he was going through. All that he was struggling with and they would have known the agony of his heart. They also would have seen and known that David continued to cry out to God to save him.
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
David tells us in Psalm 130 verse 6 “I shall never be moved.”
He had learned what it was like to have all his walls torn down. All of his protection and trappings removed. All of his crutches and support and soft places to land eliminated. All that was left was his stripped bare heart and his God.
No one else. Nothing else. Not family. Not friends. Not his support group. Not his Chamber of Commerce. Not his banker. Not his money. Not his investments. No government agency. No church Bible study. It was just David and God. God put him there. God was the only one who could save him.
Verse 12 tells us why. To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
David’s times of suffering, all of his crying out to God set a pattern for his life. David suffers. David cries out to God. God hears. God answers. God elevates David to a new level each time. David is learning. David is growing in faith. David is growing in his relationship with God. It’s a cycle.
I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
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.
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.
I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;
The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.”
By the time we get to Psalm 142 David has learned who his real friend is and where to go for his help. He goes straight to God. Verse 5, “I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.” is a different tune than Psalm 88:14 “Lord, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?” David is still human and his life is not free from all trouble but he has learned to call upon God, wait for God, and to trust that God will answer and that (Psalm 142:7) “You shall deal bountifully with me.”
David learned the cycle.
Suffer > pray > trust > wait > receive a blessing > be promoted > repeat
David was so real. He talked to God. He reminded God we are human. That our lives here are short and that while God is not ruled by time and space, we are. He frequently cried out to God to HURRY! and he reminded God that dry bones in a grave cannot praise Him.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 41 that God hardens us to difficulties. God cannot harden us to difficulties if we never have any difficulties. The Bible also tells us that God disciplines those He loves.
Hebrews 12:5-11 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.
Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Proverbs 15:5 A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
Job 5:17-18 “Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when God does judge us, he disciplines us as his own sons, that we may not be involved in the general condemnation of the world.
—–One Talmudic source and nearly all Orthodox Jews believe that King David was the author of all the psalms. He is known in the Bible as “the hero of Israel’s songs” (2 Samuel 23:1). Other sources say that David collected the words of Adam, Abraham, Melchizedek, Moses, ten elders, and Ezra. Only seventy-four of the 150 psalms bear David’s name; twelve are attributed to Asaph; twelve to the sons of Korah; two to Solomon; one to Moses; and one each to Heman and Ethan. Thirty-four psalms are not attributed to any author at all. Whoever the author or authors, the psalms uniquely gave voice to a people’s hopes, sufferings, and dreams—and they still do today. Click here for more information on THE PSALMS OF DAVID