How often do we call on a friend or family member when we are struggling only to receive little or no help? Our friends give us that look with their head cocked to the side as they claim, in unison, “I’m sorry” before they move on to exasperating their own difficulties. Our family acts as if they’re concerned but really are more focused on their own issues as well and just claim, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you.” So then, we seek God’s wisdom and once again find ourselves grasping at silence. The silence eventually prevents us from seeking additional help and before long we believe ourselves to be helpless.
Psalm 86:7 says, “In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.” Here we see that even though we sense silence, God will answer us. He is there in the midst of other’s ignoring our pain. Through David’s use of the words, “I will,” we learn that David continues to call on the Lord even when he doesn’t receive a response. He does this because he knows that God is faithful…that God will give him an answer he so desperately seeks…that God is bigger than the pain and will rescue him from his sorrows.
Sometimes it seems as if God is the only support we have on this earth, which is why it is imperative for us to rely on Him and trust that He will provide for us. We can’t rely on our own means and understanding, we need God. He wants to provide more than just support for our burden; He wants to give us freedom. He cares so deeply about OUR issues, OUR pain and OUR stress that He wishes to bare the burden for us. We CAN find comfort in knowing that God will respond to our needs because He is faithful.
The key word here is CAN. We know we CAN find comfort in our Lord and Savior but in times of distress He seems so distant, unattainable and unconcerned. We ask ourselves, “Why would the creator of the universe care about me? Why would God have time for me?” It’s in these questions that we become concerned with our smallness and can’t even comprehend how GREAT God is.
But the problem is if we can’t even find comfort in God then we won’t find comfort anywhere. Ironically when we discover that there is nothing left but God, we find out that God is all we need.
“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God: save your servant who trusts you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call you all day long. Bring joy to your servant for to you, O Lord, I lift my soul.” (Psalms 86:1-4)
Here we read David’s plea for God to save him, because he is God’s child. David asks for mercy, joy and protection. Since God is really the only place we can receive these gifts, He becomes the only place in which we can receive comfort. Our friends, our parents, teachers, coaches, even ourselves, can’t bring us abundant joy, they can’t guard us from the harms of the world and their mercy is fleeting.
So, if we actually evaluate the order in which David spoke these words, first, he claims to be God’s servant, lifting his soul to God. We see that David offers his soul to God during the times that God brings joy. But, as we find out a few versus later, his soul is still lifted to God and it remains an offering during times of sorrow and torment.
Whenever life is troubled, our solution must find resolve in the Lord for He will always be there, He will take on our burdens and our trouble.
David’s full prayer (Psalm 86: 1-17):
Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life– men without regard for you. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.