“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (KJV, Ps. 18:4-6).
“The sorrows of death compassed me”
Father, I am struck with the reality that this life is filled with times of adversity. After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, the curse for their sin came down upon mankind. Even the toil of man is now filled with hardship. Sin entered the world, and there has been much sorrow since the fall of man.
Even Jesus could not escape the sorrow of being in this world and was labeled a man of sorrows and one acquainted with grief. However, I realize that this life is only for a moment, and the blessedness of glory will come. There will be no more suffering, sickness, or sorrow in glory, for in Your presence, there is fullness of joy.
Teach me to have a biblical perspective during times of adversity. Please show me what it means when the apostle Paul claimed that this light momentary affliction was preparing for him an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison.
“and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid”
Since the fall, there has been a problem with unity. Cain rose against his brother Abel and him. Sin gripped his heart, and he was overcome with anger and hatred. Many years later, I see David was concerned with the floods of ungodly men.
The men he spoke of made David afraid. I am both encouraged and saddened by what I read. Even David, a mighty man of God, was afraid at times. Even he looked into the world and found things that made him want to shrink back.
Nevertheless, he was courageous, and he also faced his fears. Teach me to look to the example of David and realize that even though he was afraid, he found his strength and courage in You. Teach me to pray during times of fear and to remember that You are with me.
“The sorrows of hell compassed me about”
This Psalm is filled with sad words. David poured his heart out during his time of affliction. Your Word tells me that affliction will come. Jesus told His disciples that times of adversity would come but that they were to take heart because Jesus had overcome the world.
It is truly a blessing to remember that Jesus has won the victory. Sometimes I can grow weak and weary amid my trials. However, may I never seek to face them head-on in my own strength? Jesus has told me I can go to him when I am weak and take His yoke upon me. Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart, and I can find rest for my weary soul in Him.
“the snares of death prevented me”
David was seemingly overwhelmed during his times of trial. I am reminded of Paul, who told the Corinthians that he did not want them to be unaware of the affliction he experienced. He informed them that he was burdened beyond his strength, and as a result, he despaired of life itself. Nevertheless, amid his affliction, You taught him a valuable lesson. You taught him not to rely on himself but on You, the God Who raises the dead. He looked to You as the One Who delivered him from every deadly peril and would deliver him again.
I believe that David would have looked to You in a similar fashion, for I am also reminded of when He went to face Goliath. He trusted in You and stated that You had delivered him from the paw of the lion and bear and that You would also deliver him from Goliath.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord”
Father, I call upon Your name this day. Arise for my help and fight for my cause. You are a shield about me and a strong tower for me to find refuge. You alone will allow me to win the battles I face and endure my affliction.
Help me to remember Your Word during times of testing. When I face trials of various kinds, I pray that You would help me to consider it pure joy. You have promised that You are at work amid my trials and maturing me in the faith. When my endurance grows, so will my relationship with You.
Increase my faith this day as I know I will only endure when my faith is solid. The author of Hebrews told his audience that they were to endure their trials. Then he told them of the many Old Testaments saints who endured by their faith. So may I always look to You with the eyes of faith, and as I do, give me strength to continue in my walk with Christ.
“and cried unto my God”
Thank You for being a God Who answers prayer. Thank You for being a God Who listens when I cry out to You. When the Israelites were in bondage, they cried out to You, and You delivered them from their slavery. Even Abels’s blood cried out from the ground, and You heard its cry for justice.
You truly are involved in Your creation. You are not a distant God; Your Word says that You dwell within the believer. Help me to become keenly aware of Your presence in my life and not view You as many miles away.
You are here with me and long to help me. You are with me and will never forsake me. You long to guide me and assist me through each day. Help me to yield to You and call out for Your help.
“he heard my voice out of his temple”
Father, when David called out to You, You heard his voice. Your Word tells me that You will listen to me when I call. However, help me ensure my heart is right before You. Your Word has told me, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). Therefore, help me not only to pray but also humble myself and turn from sin, realizing that You will hear my prayer when my heart is right before You.
“and my cry came before him”
You heard David’s cry for help, and You answered Your servant. His heart was right before You, and You were for him. I am reminded of Isaiah’s words, “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer, thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday” (Is. 58:9-10). Please assist me in growing in godliness. Help me turn from sin and honor You in obeying Your commands.
You have told me that I will never be perfect in this life. However, Jesus has also told me to be perfect as You are perfect. Thus, the standard has been set, and I must press on to perfection with Paul, although I will also declare that I have not obtained it, nor am I perfect as of yet.
“even into his ears”
It is a blessing that You hear my prayers. Teach me to avail myself of the privilege of being able to speak with You throughout my day. You are a gracious God and deserving of my attention. May I also learn to praise and give You thanks, not just make requests?
I have plenty to be thankful for, and I pray that You would help me to give thanks in all circumstances recognizing that it is Your will for me to do so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.