2 Peter 1:3 …as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue… (NKJV all verses following, emphasis mine)
King David was a man after God’s own heart. His writings reflect the entire spectrum of human emotion from ecstatic joy to bitter discouragement. The Psalm’s are filled with him crying out to God in anguish, despair, depression, frustration and fear of danger. David was always aware that his own heart was the source of his pain, and that God was the answer to his despair.
Psalm 26:2-3 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.
David suffered from within and from without. Saul wanted him dead. His own son tried to kill him. He was guilty of adultery and murder. He suffered the death of his own children as a consequence. His family dealt with rape, betrayal, murder and treachery.
Don’t forget that during all of this, David still had an entire nation on his shoulders. He wasn’t just isolated with his own problems. He had the weight of an entire nation, God’s nation, that he was responsible for leading. He set the spiritual tone for an entire people.
The weight of his sin and responsibility took him to depths that most of us could hardly imagine:
- Psalm 3:1 Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
- Psalm 6:2 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
- Psalm 6:6-7 I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.
- Psalm 13:1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?
Can you imagine your life getting much more desperate than this:
Psalm 31:9-13 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life.
And yet, notice David’s immediate answer to this crushing depression:
Psalm 31:14-15a But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand;
It’s unfortunate that simple faith and trust in God is considered insufficient today as the solution to life’s hardships. In simple and efficient words, David sums up our sufficiency in God – Psalm 19:7-14 (NKJV, emphasis mine):
- The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
- The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
- The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
- The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
- The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
- The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
- Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
- Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
David’s words are either true, or not. His observations about the sufficiency of turning to God are all encompassing and need no help from us. If you’re soul is converted; if you are made wise and rejoicing; if your eyes are enlightened; if you fear God, keep His commandments and have great reward; if you are cleansed from secret faults and are acceptable in the sight of God… what part of dealing with life does that leave out?
Is God sufficient, or not? He claims that He is.
The question stands for each of us to answer individually: Is the Creator of the Universe capable, willing and faithful to sustain us, heal us, and give us victory through the darkest of the blackest of the deepest of human suffering, discouragement and trials?
It is a question of where our hope and trust is placed. It is a question of God’s sufficiency. It is a question of taking God at His word. He who has ears, let him hear.
Creator God, who could know our pain and needs more than You? Who or what is worthy of our trust more than You? If the Creator is not sufficient to sustain us, then how could any created thing be? Teach us to cry out to You Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.
Contemplation: Where do you instinctively and naturally turn when life gets tough? If it is anything but God, what does that say about your trust and understanding of God? Is there ANY problem, situation or disappointment that is more than God is capable of dealing with?
Application: God most certainly does use people, doctors and medication to help those who are hurting. This is not an issue of discarding all counseling or medical help. It is a question of where we place our trust. It is a question of what you see as the primary source of your hope. It is a question of what you truly trust in when life gets tough. God may lead us to get “help”. The question is whether we trust God first, and fully..
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?