“A cry from the cave”
As we learnt from our lesson last Sunday, let’s remind ourselves of God’s expectation in our battles.
- Be Patient
- Keep on Living
- Remember God
- Remember the Promise
When we find ourselves in a trying situation, the scriptures encourage us to “count it all joy” that we encounter trials because out of it we mature and learn to trust wholly on God.
“Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Jesus was tested and tried during His time. We must expect to learn from our master to endure to the end. But Christ promised us deliverance because He has defeated the world. He said:
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Our joy comes from knowing that though we suffer and struggle in life, God uses these challenges to make us more perfect like His son Jesus Christ. He was perfected by His suffering.
A cry from the cave
Have you ever been in a situation that does not seem to come to an end? You know what God has destined for you; you have testified about it, but you seem to go from trial to trial? Some trials seem permanent, never ending in this life.
Waiting can be hard sometimes. Bearing under pressure can be un-bearable. We long to get out of it and if an opportunity arises to get out, we will take it. But some opportunities are not God given and we know that it is not God’s way of getting out of our situation.
1 Sam 24:3-7
Saul came to the cave at Sheep pens and went in to relieve himself. David and His men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when He said to you, “I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward David was conscience stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” We these words, David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
Short cuts are plenty in life, learning to endure until the end is not one of them. We long to get out of trying situations as soon as possible. No one enjoys hardship. We need God to teach us how to pray when we are in such situations. This is what David learnt in Psalm 57. How to pray to God while keeping faith and hope as waited on God. David learnt Patience and Self-control.
How to Pray (David’s prayer)
- Plead for mercy and Grace knowing that God is all you have.
“Have mercy on me, oh God have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge, I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”
God is all that David had left in his life. We need to appreciate when we are in difficult situations, God is all we have left. Thankfully He is all we need. David saw Him like a hen that would cover her chicks with her wings until the storm is over. Your storm will pass but God will remain; you’re protected forever; God has secured you in the life now and in the coming one. He will not abandon you.
- Call to God knowing that He is sovereign.
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purposes for me.”
The trial or challenge you are going through is part of God’s purpose for you. This is one of the hardest lessons to learn that God has allowed what we are going through. If He allowed Job to go through life threatening trials and even lost family and property, He is aware of your situation. Your situation is not outside God’s control, but it is part of the tools in God’s hand to make you like His son. Cry out to God as you wait for your trial to end knowing that He is sovereign and in control.
- Be assured that God will faithfully help you.
“He sends from Heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me, God sends His love and faithfulness.”
David was confident of God’s help. We too can be confident that God will help us out of the worst trials we may be facing today. Your situation is temporary it will pass because God is faithful. And even when we ultimately pass-on, we go to a place where there will be no more hardships or trials.
- Recognize the real danger you are in
“I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts, men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp words.”
An acknowledgement that you are in grave danger helps you to appreciate that:
- God is all what you have in life
- God is sovereign
- God is your faithful helper
We can be in dangerous situations that threaten our lives and those of our families. It does not demean God when we remind Him of how dangerous our situation is. It is an acknowledgment that we cannot help ourselves we can only rely on Him like Daniel in the den of lions.
- Glorify God in your trial.
“Be exalted oh God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.”
If we do not glorify God through our trying times, we stand in danger of blaspheming Him. Difficult times can cause us to complain against God. We can fall in the sin of entitlement. Jobs wife asked him to curse God and die. He called her a foolish woman. He said we cannot only accept the good from the Lord and not the “bad” that sometimes come to us.
We need to learn to have a good attitude. A good attitude when we win and a good attitude when we lose.
What does your attitude communicate to others when you are facing trials? Do they get the sense that God can be trusted? Do they see in you an encouragement that God is good to His people?
Don’t waste your trial, God is giving you an open door to witness to others. If you resist, He will wait until you change your attitude.
- Realize that some day your challenge will be reversed.
“They spread a net for my feet- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path- but they have fallen in it themselves.”
David had real physical enemies like some of us do, he is literally trapped in a cave, but he is confident that God will take the plan of his enemies to finish him and turn it against them.
Someone has decided to make life difficult for you. Sometimes it is someone with authority over you and you feel trapped with them. Turn to prayer and God’s word, He is able to take their plans against you to become their trap. Even Satan will eventually burn in hell.
Your trials and hardships will be reversed, and you will be vindicated, and you will celebrate your freedom in Jesus name.
- Determine to glorify God in your trials.
Vv7-9 “My heart is steadfast, O God, 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 O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
Why do we praise God during trials?
We are in the world but not of the world. Though we suffer and hurt like everyone does, we have a revelation of what is coming. Those of the world complain and express dissatisfaction, they turn to unworthy things for comfort and consolation but when like David we sing as we await the end of our hardship, that is out of this world.
Jesus sang a hymn on the night He was betrayed; He was looking forward to the joy set before Him. With the eyes of faith, we can see the glory that is coming; we can see our current troubles fading away; we can look and see the victory of our God. Our troubles are not worthy compared to the glory about to be revealed in our lives when we have endured to the end.
- Remind yourself of God’s revealed character.
“For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”
God’s Character is love and loyalty to those who have chosen to entrust themselves to Him. God does not abandon His people, He does not lie; He is the way, the truth and the life. God’s character is unchanging He will always be your ever-present help in times of need.
Remember to glorify God always in your situation. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” David ends this Psalm with honor to God. Remember he wrote this in the midst of great calamity. He chose to see the bright side of life knowing the promise of God over his life was not going to change. God has a plan over your life and not even your current trial will take it away.
1 Cor 10:13
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
May the Lord help us to keep these realities in our mind as we go through tough and challenging times and more so to wait on Him to end the current pandemic that has complicated an already worse situation.