Some days are easy, some are hard and then some are beyond difficult. What do you do when life deals you a few of those days in a row? You might turn to some comfort food, an activity that lets you escape for a while or even a trusted friend. Obviously some options are better than others. A few are nothing more than a momentary distraction but others lead to a path through the difficulty. One of those good paths is found in the Psalms. King David had some of those difficult times and when he did he turned to God. Let’s take a look at the process he undertakes in Psalm 86.
First things first, he admits he can’t do this by himself. (“Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.”)
Second, he asks God for specific things. He asks God to guard his life, have mercy, bring him joy and to really listen to his prayer. The reasons attached to these requests include things he knows of God (forgiving, good, abounding in love and He listens) and things he knows about himself (he is faithful, he trusts in God and calls on God all day long).
Third, he realizes that it’s all about glorifying God. He praises God, announces that all the nations should worship him, exclaims God’s power, and notes that when he (David) finds joy and forgiveness the glory still goes to God.
Fourth, David knows very well to whom he is turning. In these few paragraphs he refers to God as merciful (3x), joyful, forgiving, good, loving (3x), faithful (2x), compassionate and patient. This is a God worth going to in a crisis. He truly believes God’s desires for him are good and that in God he will find comfort even when there is no immediate rescue involved.
One last thought – based on the context and tone of this Psalm it seems evident that God hears and responds to us even when the trouble we find ourselves in is self-inflicted. That makes the good news even better.
So when you want to throw in the towel instead throw yourself into the arms of God.
Music from Sunday: 1/28/18