Summary: This Sermon, taken from Psalm 11, shows 3 ways in which David responded in a difficult situation.
Trusting God in Extreme Situations - Devotional on Psalm 11
The writer of the passage, David, was obviously facing extreme dangers when he wrote this beautiful Psalm. His enemies were waiting in the shadows (v 2) to shoot their arrows at him (v 2). This could refer to verbal attacks & very definitely, to attacks on his life. King Saul had already been using him as target practice to enhance his skills in javelin throwing (1 Samuel 19:10)! In verse 3, David speaks about his very foundation being destroyed. At this point, it seems like David's close friends had encouraged him to flee to safety.
Let's look at how David responded to this extreme challenge.
1) He refused to flee in fear (vs 1)
In this instance, David refused to 'flee like a bird to the mountains' as advised by His friends. Instead, He would trust the Lord he worshiped, to deliver him. The Lord was his refuge.
It is sad that when things get tough, many people decide to run away, seeking something better elsewhere. As a result, they run away from a difficult marriage, a hurting relationship, a challenging job, a financial crisis & other trying circumstances. Christian leaders may run away from the challenges of a struggling ministry. Some run away from finding true love, because they were hurt once in a relationship. Others may even contemplate suicide. We allow a feeling of helplessness to overtake us! The scriptures record how Elijah, a mighty man of faith and anointing, ran away when confronted by Jezebel (1 Kings 19:2-3).
Are you in that place today? Ready to give up? Throw in the towel? Let's take heart from the faith shown by David.
Illustration - At one point in my ministry, I had to serve in an area that was a hive of demonic activity. By God's grace our midweek service began to grow steadily as many were being saved & delivered from all kinds of oppression. At that time, we received a threat from some of those who were heavily involved in the occult in the area. They threatened to cast charms on our ministry team unless we stopped the services. Praise God that no one in our team decided to stop the ministry & as we continued, God began to work in greater measure until they all acknowledged that Jesus was Lord of all!!
2) He knew where his security lay (vs 4-5)
David saw that the Lord was still in control of his life because He was on His heavenly throne. His eyes were on God and not on the dangers surrounding him! He sees this just and righteous God (vs 7) watching closely and observing everything that was happening. He therefore places his security in the Lord's hands. He knew that God was well able not only to protect him from his enemies, but to stop them as well (vs 6)!!
God closely observes everything his children go through. While sometimes it may seem like He is inattentive, He never takes His eyes off us and will answer us at the right moment. He not only saved David from this challenge, but from every challenge he faced in a colorful career!!
The old hymn, 'My hope is built on nothing less', also known as 'On Christ the Solid Rock' says,
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
"The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10)
3) He knew God' presence
David says, 'upright men will see His (God's) face' (vs 7). He clearly knew the joy and beauty of being in God's presence - 'You will fill me with joy in Your presence' (Psalm 16:11). David also knew that the key to seeing the face of God, was to live uprightly before Him, even in the most difficult situations.
Have you been spending quality time in God's presence recently? Are you living uprightly before Him, specially when tough decisions have to be made? Let's resolve that we will do so as the Psalmist shows us.
Illustration - I remember reading Pastor David Wilkerson's powerful book 'The Cross and the Switchblade'. In it, Pastor Wilkerson shares about how he took a decision to give up his time of relaxation in the evening so that he could use that time to seek God's face in a deeper way. As he kept honoring that commitment to God, one night God spoke to him about ministering to street gangs. The rest is history, as that was the moment when the worldwide ministry of Teen Challenge was birthed!! But, it all began in God's presence. So, are we in the place where we can meet God face to face?