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Request, Reason and Response in the Midst of Trials

What do you do in difficult situations? Many of the psalms were written during difficult, often painful, experiences. In Psalm 5 we find two sequences concerning trials. In the first sequence (vv. 1-7), David is experiencing difficulty and makes his request--"hear me." (v. 1-3). Meditation here means "sighing, murmuring, groaning"--a quiet expression of feelings. When our burden is beyond expression, all we can do is sigh and moan before the Lord. The Spirit hears our groanings and intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26). David's meditation turns to a cry (v. 2; Heb. 5:7). Prayer is not always a quiet, joyful conversation with God. Sometimes it is a battle against the principalities arrayed against us.

David's reason for making this request is the holiness of God (vv. 4-6). He cried to God because He is holy and stands against the wicked and boastful. Although He will judge the wicked, God does not always judge sin immediately. David's response is worship (v. 7), individual and personal.

In the second sequence, David makes another request--"lead me" (v. 8). He wants God's way, which is the righteous way. In the midst of difficulty, what we need most is wisdom to know the will of God (James 1:5). Notice that David asks to be led, not delivered. God has a straight way through every difficulty that will lead us to victory.

His reason this time is the wickedness of man (vv. 9,10). Destruction means "a yawning, open abyss." An open tomb pictures defilement and death. Flattery is not communication; it is manipulation. Absalom fell by his own counsel. David did nothing. He let God do it all (Rom. 12:19).

David's response (vv. 11,12) is rejoicing in faith, love and hope. Joy comes from trusting in and loving the Lord. This kind of joy comes from God's work on the inside, not from circumstances on the outside.

The psalmist tells us to expect difficulty. We shouldn't run from our trials but bring to God our requests, our reasons and our response.

You need never be paralyzed by your difficulties. You have the privilege of praying to a loving, understanding Father, who knows your condition. He guides you through difficulty to victory. When your faith, hope and love are fixed on the Lord, you can face any difficulty or problem, and God will give you joy and peace within.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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