As the year begins, it is good to renew ourselves to living an even greater life that is more faithful to Yahweh and to continue to allow Him to fight our battles and preserve us for the ultimate victory of entrance into the Kingdom. Many wonderful and glorious miracles will likely happen this year as will some very difficult challenges. Our human nature is to cry out in times of trouble and to expect that others will come to our aid. When adversity strikes, we expect Yahweh to take the problems away and to shelter us from any pain. In the Old Testament, David is an excellent example of someone who saw miracles and also suffered persecution. His relationship with Yahweh was open and honest and one that provided great comfort to David. We will look at three specific verses that are universal for us all to incorporate into our own prayer life.
Psalm 31:22-24 encapsulates David’s prayer relationship with Yahweh. We will see that David cried out to Yahweh, he remembered Yahweh’s past mercies, and claimed Yahweh’s victory.
Psalm 31:22-24 As for me, I said in my alarm, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried to You. O love the LORD [YAHWEH], all you His godly ones! The LORD [Yahweh] preserves the faithful and freely recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD [Yahweh].
David was not shy about crying out to Yahweh for help. Crying out in alarm means to “summons to prepare to fight.” How many times do we feel attacked by circumstances that come from inside and/or outside of ourselves and we need to find assistance to get through the skirmish or battle? We can cry out to Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, for aid in our troubles.
Next, David states that he is asking Yahweh to help him through this particular circumstance, and he adds that he is “cut off” from Yahweh’s care. The psalmists frequently ask Yahweh why He hides His face (or eyes) such as in the following verses.
Psalm 30:7-8 O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You O LORD, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication.
Psalm 44:24-6 Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression? For our soul has sunk down in to the dust: Our body cleaves to the earth. Rise up, be our help, and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness.
Even though David reported feeling separated from the blessing of Yahweh because of his distresses, he remembered about past urgent needs that Yahweh answered. David cried out to Yahweh for aid in fighting whatever his battle was, while feeling as if Yahweh was not heeding his cry for help. Yet immediately his mind focused on the times when Yahweh did hear his pleas and answered.
While praying to Yahweh, David and the psalmists would tell of the current problem, sometimes in detail, then remember the past battles fought and won by Yahweh’s hand, and then apply those past victories to the current problem, claiming Yahweh’s victory in this trouble. Remembering all of Yahweh’s grace and mercy, David burst out with joy shouting, “O love the LORD [YAHWEH], all you His godly ones!” How can we not be overcome with love for Yahweh and His lovingkindnesses, His deliverance, and grace and mercies?
However, maybe you are saying, “I have not seen deliverance or Yahweh’s compassion in my life; I just have one misery after the other.” Maybe you are thinking, “Why do I have to go through this mess? Can't God just intervene and stop this?" The psalmists went to Yahweh and asked “Why?” and most often the answer came in terms of Yahweh’s continued deliverances.
Psalm 42:9-11 I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forsaken me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?’ Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
Having the thought, “Where is Yahweh in all this mess?” is not the problem. It is okay to cry out to Yahweh, but the sin comes when we stop there and forget the blessings, the care, and the lovingkindness of Yahweh. He made a way of salvation to lead us into the Kingdom of God that has no end of love, peace, joy, and praise to Yahweh. Jesus Christ, our agent of salvation, gave his life so that we can love Yahweh, love others as we love ourselves, and serve Yahweh. He will give us what we need in this life to stand faithfully through whatever comes our way.
In Psalm 31 David stated, “The LORD [Yahweh] preserves the faithful and freely recompenses the proud doer.” David valued faithfulness because he knew Yahweh valued David’s faithfulness. Was David being faithful when he stated that it appeared that Yahweh did not see or hear his trouble? Of course he was. Again, stating this fact of feeling distant from Yahweh brought his mind to the great power of Yahweh and His love for us. In our alarm, He does fight for us. We need to remember that.
In contrast, the proud evildoer gets recompensed, or, stated another way, the evildoer will get payment that is due for God rejecters. Those faithful to Yahweh will be preserved. Preserved is to be safeguarded, protected, defended, and cared for. The reward for faithfulness is to be in Yahweh’s protection and to be defended and safeguarded by Almighty Yahweh and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful position to be in. Trouble can be all around, and we are preserved from it.
The last thought from verses 22-24 is “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.” In the face of adversity, stand up, be strong, and do not let your heart faint. This does not mean that problems will all melt away and we will have them no more. It means that no matter what goes on around us, we stand faithfully and with godly strength for the one true God, Yahweh. Yahweh will preserve us. Yahweh really does the best job of preserving us. He keeps us for entrance into the Kingdom He has prepared for us. Be faithful, strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yahweh will hear the alarm, fight for you, and preserve you for the Kingdom.