Psalm 70 is short and sweet. Well, it is short, but not very sweet…it is full of anguish and dismay. This morning I encouraged someone in a Christian Men’s Group online that although they are struggling and things are really hard in life right now, it’s exactly where God wants him to be. Why? Because it is when we get to the end of our rope we are finally ready to rely fully on God. I’ve said this many times to people. When they come to me telling me their problems, their sadness, their tribulations I tell them, “I’m happy for you, but let me tell you why.”
It is unfortunate for us that it takes being in dire straits to fully rely on God. He knows this about us. Our pride and selfishness prevent us from relying on God and praising Him in the easy times. It’s when things get rough we turn to Him and ask, “Lord, why is this happening? Why did youdo this to me?” If we are the least bit wise we would recognize we have usually done it to ourselves. Even in the cases where we are innocent in the matter and still are being persecuted, God allows it to happen so we can learn more of how awesome He is for us. Some of you might be thinking of situations right now where it still doesn’t seem fair and the “but why do bad things happen to good people?” questions are starting to arise in your mind. It’s not a rabbit trail I’m willing to run down right now but to help put that question into perspective, let us not forget that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and therefore deserve nothing more than death, pain, and suffering. So, the fact that you are even experiencing difficulty is grace in itself.
The greatest prayer anyone ever offered up to God is, “help.” He is our rescuer, our defender, our present help in our time of need. He loves us and is always ready to scoop us up and protect us. By asking for help we are inviting Him into our direst of situations, the times of our lives we are most vulnerable and helpless. Depending on your need, you wouldn’t invite just anyone into that moment, would you? No, you would reach out to someone you trust and hope will come to your rescue. Sometimes we get to a point where we ask just anyone for mercy to stop and help us, right? However, when we reach out to God for help, it’s like we are saying, “I need you. I trust you. I want you.” This should be our every day cry out to the Lord regardless of our circumstances. Sometimes, however, it takes some hurt, sorrow, and discomfort to get to this place for the first time or to remind us again that God is not only there to help us, but the best place to be is in His arms. Let’s look at what James 4 says:
6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
James is expounding upon a truth in Proverbs 3:34 here that when we humble ourselves and realize we cannot do it on our own, God comes in and does His work. James too is cheering people in difficult situations because not only do they grow us closer to God, but God then lifts us up to higher places than we could get ourselves.