Help me God!
We have all been there. Sometimes life is good, and sometimes life is not so good. Sometimes you feel on top of the world and sometimes you come to a standstill. Sometimes we are on a mountain high, and other times we may be in the valley of despair.
- When was the last time you needed God?
- What did you do?
- How did you carry on?
Psalm 40 gives us some advice on how we can get through the tough times we face. David describes our off days as being in the dangerous pit. Maybe you can relate to this also. In our lives we can experience a sense of being stuck, not being able to get out of situations because the walls are too high around us and then we start to panic and feel like everything is getting on top of us and can find no way out. We learn from David’s psalm why we get in trouble and also what we need to do about it.
We get into trouble…
- Because of our sin
“My sins have caught up with me and I ca no longer see; they are more than the hairs of my head, and I have lost my courage.” Verse 12 In life we can often just bring things down on ourselves. No one is perfect and I think we can all agree that at some point we made some blunders in life, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. Like David, we have all had our own sins overtake us and blind us. What seemed like a good idea in that moment of temptation can turn out to be a bad idea.
- Because of others’ sin
“May those who try to kill me be completely defeated and confused. May those who are happy because of my troubles be turned back and disgraced.” Verse 14 No matter where you go or what you do in life, you’ll always have a critic and sometimes people will go well beyond criticizing and can end up really hurting you in some way. People can bring trouble down on you, with their actions or their words.
- Because of trouble around us
“I am surrounded by many troubles, too many to count!” Verse 12
Sometimes bad stuff happens for no good reason to perfectly good people. It is not anybody’s fault, not your sin nor anyone else’s sin. For now, we live in a broken world and sometimes bad things happen.
Dealing with our troubles
There are four ways we can learn to deal with our troubles from David’s psalm.
To deal with trouble…
- Take in God’s word
God’s word, the Bible, is God’s book of promises to you. It is your weapon against the evil one who seeks to bring your down. God’s word is powerful. Know God’s word before temptation strikes, before someone hurts you, before you have a bad day.
“I keep your teaching in my heart”. Verse 8 Have you hidden God’s word in your heart. You need to do this before you need it, so it is there, in your brain, when you do need it. In that moment of temptation or when you find yourself in a dangerous pit, a verse will pop into your mind, and will give you the strength you need in that moment.
- Learn to wait on God
“I waited patiently for the Lord’s help.” Verse 1
Sometimes we do have to wait on God, however we do not have to sit still and wait. Waiting can be very active. It can include doing all that God has shown you to do while you are awaiting further direction. It can include doing all the things you see in the scriptures, praying and fasting. God will show you. God loves you too much not to guide you when you seek him. Even David shows his own impatience at the end of the Psalm.
“I am weak and poor, O Lord but you have not forgotten me. You are my saviour and my God – hurry to my aid!” Verse 17
- Trust in God’s plans
“Happy are those who trust the Lord, who do not turn idols or join those who worship false gods.” Verse 4
“How I love to do your will, my God!” Verse 8
Be patient God will come to your aid!
- Praise God to others
“In the assembly of all your people, Lord I told the good news that you save us. You know that I will never stop telling it. I have not kept the news of salvation to myself; I have always spoken of your faithfulness and help. In the assembly of all your people I have not been silent about your loyalty and constant love.” Verses 9-10
“May all who come to you be glad and joyful. May all who are thankful for your salvation always say, “How great is the Lord!” Verse 16
We say, “The Lord is great” even when we do not know what he is up to. That requires faith! As God brings you out of the dangerous pit, praise him loud and clear! and tell everyone who will listen. It will help your faith grow, and it will help others grow in faith also. God is good. And God is greatly to be praised!
“He taught me to sing a new song, a song of praise to our God. Many who see this will take warning and will put their trust in the Lord.” Verse 3
Thank you for your love that always searches us out when we find ourselves in the dangerous pit, even when it was our own sin that put us there, or the sin of others, or just the natural evil in this world. Thank you that you don’t abandon us but are ready to grow our dependence on your word, to grow our faith, to grow our trust in you, and to grow our testimony of you. We praise you in Jesus’ name,