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Handling Life During Difficult Times 2 — Discovering God’s Love

Andy Yung

Psalm 57:1-11 NIV

Vs. 1-2

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.

David pleaded to God twice in this psalm, “have mercy on me”, as he took refuge in God till his troubles were over, trusting in God to rescue him. This was a complete surrender of himself, putting his life fully in God’s hands. He knew that God would vindicate him.

David wrote a few psalms during this difficult period, while he was hiding from Saul in the cave in Adullam. These psalms record his relationship with God and his understanding of God’s will for him.

The difficult times we go through are also the best time for us to learn to trust fully in God, having confidence that He will vindicate us. It is the best time to seek God and learn His will.

Vs. 3-6

He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me — God sends forth His love and His faithfulness.

I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts — men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

They spread a net for my feet — I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path — but they have fallen into it themselves.

Similar to Psalm 142, which we explored in our last article, David described the dangers he faced. In this psalm, his enemies were compared with “ravenous beasts”; they were dangerously armed and they set traps for him. But these enemies fell into their own traps, because God delivered him.

What kind of dangers have we escaped from, at work, at home, or any place else? The dangers may be consequences that arise from our own fault, complications that come from other’s mistakes, or even deliberate acts of malice from others. Have we thanked God for His rescue even though we don’t deserve His mercy?

Vs. 7-11

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

Here was the turnaround in David’s psalm. Unlike Psalm 142 which did not record a single praise to God, this psalm mentioned twice that his “heart is steadfast” (the same number of times he asked God for mercy).

David reflected on how God had delivered him and saw God’s great love for him. He didn’t attribute those escapes or victories to himself, but gave glory to God. It is a shame that I would have praised my own wit and capability first. Do we realise that God and His angels are working everyday for us? We should take stock of all the victories in our lives and thank God for His grace. The most important victory He has given us is Jesus’ death on the cross for our redemption. Isn’t Jesus’ sacrifice sufficient for us to see that God loves us? Jesus understands all the difficulties that we go through.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV)

Some theorise that chronologically, Psalm 57 could have been written after Psalm 142 because there was a change in David’s attitude. He still cried out to God for mercy but he showed faith and humility before God.

Many discover the value of pouring their pain to God during their “cave experience”. But few turn around to praise God during their difficult times. Comparing David’s prayers in both psalms, we see his turnaround once he understood his predicament from God’s perspective, and realised that God is faithful and loves him.

Can we praise God while we are going through difficult times? Frankly, it is hard. I’ve been through many difficult moments, and I cannot remember if I had praised God for how had He protected me. Even now, as I am going through challenging times, I pray that I will walk with God until these challenges have passed.

While David was writing this psalm, his circumstances had not changed yet. He was still facing the same danger, if not more intensely. Our worship must not be based on our circumstances, but on our understanding of who God is. We must learn through our trials to remain faithful and grow in our trust in God’s love. Jesus’ death is proof of God’s everlasting covenant, that God will be faithful to His promise.

Read more about ‘Handling Life During Difficult Times’:

Handling Life During Difficult Times 1 - Going To God

Handling Life During Difficult Times 3 - Transformation

Andy Yung

Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.

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