Ansell: Cry out to the Lord in times of trouble
I’ve got a friend that I love a lot and he told me the other day that most of his life he has felt like the 3rd monkey trying to get on the Ark. I relate to that struggle.
No matter who you are, life is full of “stuff” and stuff happens. Job 5:7 tells us, “man is born for trouble.” If God is anything He is honest isn’t He?
We might think if we were only the king or the queen, life would be so much different. If we were only the president life would be so much different, but the truth is, probably not.
King David wrote Psalm 3 (I would encourage you to read the entire passage today) at a time his son Absalom had taken over as king. Can you imagine his own son had turned the people against his dad, the king and stolen the throne. Listen to what David said in Psalm 3:1 & 2, “O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’” I think what David was experiencing qualified as a “third monkey” moment.
After his lament David puts it in four-wheel drive and gets out of the rut of pity, anxiety and depression by praying in verses 3 & 4, “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy hill.” God is always there isn’t He? James 5:13 tells us, “Is anyone in trouble? Let him pray.” James also tells us that “We don’t have because we don’t ask (James 4:2b).” I wonder how many of us think about praying but then never actually do it?
Part of David’s realization is God is not like the “many” mentioned three times in verses 1 & 2. God is not opposed to us and the truth is God is for us and often He is an untapped resource. David knew the Lord was more than ready to be a “ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).” In fact, right after praying David goes to sleep (verse 5 - can I ask how many nights do you stay up stressed out and worried). He is so confident in the Lord that even with as he wrote in verse 6, “many thousands of people” out to get him David knows the Lord will “sustain” him and he said, “I will not be afraid (verse 6).”
David is so confident that he counters the lies in verse 2b, “There is no salvation for him in God” with, “Salvation belongs to the Lord (verse 8a)." If the church would only walk with this kind swagger I think church buildings would be full every Sunday and budget deficits would become budget surpluses. There would be nothing this kind church could not accomplish through faith. Think of how different our communities would be.
Finally, King David prays with boldness in verse 7 & 8, “Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek (humiliate them); You break the teeth of the wicked (he sees them as wild animals that can’t survive without their teeth).”
My prayer for you today is that you would be like David in times of trouble. Don’t walk through the hard times alone. Cry out to the Lord. He is not like the “many” that are to be honest, sometimes out to get you. Get out of the rut and lean on the Lord, God is for you and He will always be responsive. My testimony is God has never let me down - let that be your testimony as well. He told me to tell you that.