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by Wayne Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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by Wayne Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

We would be hard-pressed to have to face the kind of circumstances that David faced. Yet, through the midst of all his trials and troubled times, he took courage again and again to stand, and to stand for God. Looking at the life of King David, there are a lot of lessons that can help us along the way.

How does one stand in a time of trouble?

Cry to the Lord

Psalm 142:1,2
I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed before Him my trouble.

Learn from David that this is how you stand when troubles come: You cry unto the Lord!

David needed God to really help him. This was in the midst of what you could say was one of his greatest trials, when it seemed like there was no place to go to for help. But David had learned young in his life to trust the Lord and to put his faith in God.

There are a lot of things about David, in the realm of his relationship with God, where he is said to be a man after God's own heart.

David's prayers — they got through. Many of his prayers are recorded in Psalms.

Hey, there was fighting and warring. There were troubles continuously. King Saul, David's own father-in-law, was his enemy, out to take his life!

David said he poured out his complaint before the Lord, showing Him his trouble.

Do you tell God all about it? When you pray, do you tell God all about it?

I think it's good for us to tell God about what is troubling us, even though we know that nothing is hid from Him. Nothing happens to you or me that God doesn't see, and nothing happened to David that God didn't see. But there's that realm of faith where we put our faith and our trust in the Lord in the time of trouble.

David looked to the right place for help. Yes, he looked to the right place here: I cried unto the LORD with my voice!

Here's a lesson for us to learn: There are times in life when we want to bring ourselves quickly to the place where our help comes from. David is in that very place. He knew where his help would come from, and there is where he looked.

Feeling Overwhelmed Is Good

Psalm 142:3
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

David talks here about his spirit being overwhelmed — inwardly he was absolutely overwhelmed by what was happening.

You know, he's a young man here. He isn't yet in the realm of all those experiences down through the years of his life.

Did you ever feel, deep inside, so overwhelmed by what was happening and by what was troubling you? Have you had to face something that was more than what your mind and heart could grasp hold of and stand up to? You were just overwhelmed. You didn't know what to do — except to pray and to cry unto the Lord, and you moved God's hand to come and help you.

David is overwhelmed with pressures in the midst of this battle. There's nobody to seemingly look to but God.

Maybe it's a good thing that we don't have any other place to look to. We should ever be in that place of recognizing and realizing we have one Source of help.

Settle it in your heart: "I have one way and one means here, and that is to trust the Lord. I'm determined to stand and be firm and to trust Him."

Now, when your knees start to shake and you're overwhelmed within, what are you going to do?

Psalm 142:3b
In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

So, the very place David's been they were hunting him, trying to find him. There was always another snare set for him, another means to try to catch him. Remember, this was at the time when Saul was determined that he would find David. He would search for him until he found him and killed him.

No Refuge but God

Psalm 142:4
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

That's getting down to the fine points of life: I looked on my right hand, but there was no man. I looked for help, but there was no man.

Maybe we'll face a day when we're looking for help, and there will be nobody who will help us! We won't have anybody to turn to.

Is it all right? Can we face it alone? Can we battle it alone? Though our soul be overwhelmed within, can we stand up?

I guess this says a lot about some people's reactions to trouble. Some would fall apart at the sight of a butterfly, fall apart at the slightest little thing that goes wrong. Nothing much has to happen, and they fall apart!

Well, David has looked now and found no help: "I looked on my right hand, but there was no man. I looked for help, but there was no man." Then he added that refuge had failed him. All the places he tried to hide didn't suffice for long. This all brought him to the point where his cry was, "No man cared for my soul."

Would you want to be in the place where no man cared for your soul?

I'm glad Someone does care about our soul. I'm glad we have Someone whom we can count on. But it might take a while in the midst of a battle to find out that we really can count on the Lord. It may take a few overwhelming times to learn that He will really be there! He will really help!

Yes, the Lord will be there for us!

So, if no man is there for you, nobody for you to lean on, what are you going to do?

When David saw that refuge had failed him, he said he cried unto the Lord.

Psalm 142:5
I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Out of it all, David learned this: Though refuge failed, he found the Lord was his refuge.

So, there are the hard trials of life that teach you to know these things.

I'm glad that I can know in my heart, from the knowledge of the Scriptures, that the Lord is my refuge. And, if the Lord is my refuge, then it's the same as to say that He is my hiding place.

Psalm 91:1
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Like little chickens huddled up under the wings of mother hen, we're in the place where we're under the shelter of God's wings — a place we find is a refuge, a place where we can get out of the storm, a place where we can hide in the time of battle.

Yes, a refuge is a place where we can know and understand that the Lord is with us. All we need to know and to do is keep praying, keep our mind and heart set upon the Lord, and let Him take care, let Him fight our battles.

In What Are You Trusting?

Psalm 142:6
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

I think, in the midst of David's trying times, it would be understandable that he would feel he has been brought very low. Everything is against him, and he doesn't dare to make one false move — or he's dead!

We realize that David is trusting the Lord and that it took hard times to learn how to really trust Him.

What is it that you trust in? What do you lean on?

You trust in the old car to get you to work and back home again. But did you ever find a time when it utterly failed you? To an extent you could trust it to get you there, but it can let you down some day.

It's quite different when you're trusting somebody with your life, trusting them to keep you, trusting them to give you the wisdom and knowledge as to what to do under the hard circumstances you face.

Psalm 142:6
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

There's the source of David's trouble: King Saul, with his jealous rages! The one thing that Saul feared most was that David would be the next king. He feared that his son Jonathan wouldn't have the throne but that David would take it. He was jealous of David — that's why David was out there being chased and hunted down.

All of this that was aimed at David as he was being hunted like a wild animal! He faced up to all of that pressure for a long time. It was a time when David set his heart that the only way through this would be the Lord.

Looking at his experience down through the years, we see where he learned to pray while he was yet young. We see in David's writings that he had learned an important lesson. When he saw his refuge fail, he learned it was because he was trusting in something other than the Lord. And he learned out of the midst of this that the Lord was surely his refuge, his portion in the land of the living — not in the land of the dead!

Now, we ought to be thankful that we know what to do when things get rough — or do we?

Prayer Is Your Key

Psalm 142:7
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

David was hiding all the time. It was not a pleasant place to be, not a pleasant thing to go through. Always hiding! It certainly would be nice to get out of there and walk free again.

David said that he would praise the Lord when he was set free.

Now, David has given us information that should help us in our battles. One thing is this: the pressures may be on, but prayer can altogether be the answer.

Prayer: moving the hand of God, learning to pray when we're in trouble, learning to pray when things are serious. If we don't learn to pray when we're in small times of trouble, if we don't learn to pray when we face difficulties that are normal to everyday life, how are we going to pray when we're really in trouble? How are we going to pray when we face a real battle?

I think David is learning this from on-the-job training: being chased and hunted down like an animal, someone after his life every day. He didn't dare move because he didn't know who might be out there waiting for him.

I'm sure that you've had some trials in your life. You haven't come this far without having had some trials, have you? You learn in the midst of your troubles and your problems; yes, you learn how to pray and trust God in those times. You learn how to put God first in your life.

Did you ever think of a trial as being a try-out? "Do you want to play ball? I'm going to give you a chance to try out. It's just a trial. I'm not hiring you; I'm just giving you a chance to see what you can do."

David faced an absolute trial of his faith. Will he hold up in this, or will he give in?

We have to learn in the midst of our trial that we've got to stand up to it and not allow ourselves to be put in the place where we're going to cease from praying and trusting the Lord. It's in this realm that we're going to learn to make it.

God Is Faithful and Always Present

Now, David wasn't kept by his strength alone. He was kept by the power of God. God's eye was on David. God knew where David was each day, and He was taking good care of him.

Sometimes it may have seemed to David that God wasn't there, but He was.

Are we always sure the Lord is there when we're in trouble? No, we're not always sure. Now, I'm not saying that He's not always there but that we're not always sure He's there.

"Let me know You're there Lord! Do something to let me know. I can't see You! Are you there!!? or have You left me alone?"

We shouldn't be like that. We should know that the Lord loves us and that He cares. In the battles of life we need to know He's there, and it's by putting our faith and trust in Him that we will know. Above all things He is faithful! He's not going to fail us or forsake us. When we cry out to Him, He'll respond in His faithfulness.

How much it meant to David that God was faithful. He had learned that it was the Lord who was His refuge and strength. He could hide in Him and be safe.

Psalm 89:8
O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto Thee? or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee?

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