Praise Under Pressure
Thank You, Lord, that You are “abounding in love to all who call to you” (5).
Read Psalm 86
1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow often is praising God the first thing you do when faced with trials?
Many people, at some point, find themselves where David was: needy (1), in trouble (7) and under attack (14). In such a place, notice how David prays. He offers a cry for help (2,3,6,11,16,17), a description of the problem (14) and an assertion of the excellence of God’s character (5,8–10,13,15).
Interestingly, the problem itself doesn’t get much airtime! The focus is more upon God’s goodness, love (5), reliability (7), ultimate power (8–10), compassion, grace and mercy (14–16).
When we are in a hole, generally the way out is not found by looking down but by looking up. Reminding ourselves who is on hand to help is more constructive than describing the contours of the hole, or the reasons why we fell in!
Yet, even as David longs for relief from his enemies (17), he appears equally concerned that nothing in his challenging circumstances will spoil his obedient, joy-filled relationship with God (11–13). Overcoming the darkness is not an end in itself: it is the means to walking in the light.
Before you ask God to meet your needs today, remember his past goodness and write a psalm of praise.
“I will praise You, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever” (12).
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