It is, indeed, certain, that all the senses of our nature are so formed, that every trial produces in us grief and sorrow; and no one of us can so far divest himself of his nature as not to grieve and be sorrowful whenever he feels any evil. But this does not prevent the children of God to rise, by the guidance of the Spirit, above the sorrow of the flesh. Hence it is, that in the midst of trouble they cease not to rejoice.~ John Calvin (1509-1564)
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me.~ Psalm 86:7
A true believer can have the blessed assurance the Lord is there for them in times of trouble. One of the greatest comforts in Scripture is the idea that God provides for His people; that Jehovah Jireh, God Our Provider, furnishes the needs of those who will faithfully call upon Him in times of adversity, trouble or affliction.
Notice, in our verse today, the confidence the Psalmist displays is not because of himself. His assurance does not lie the astuteness of his prayer, or the correctness of his doctrine. The words of our prayers in times of trouble may not carry much eloquence or refinement of speech. But if they are issued with even the faith of a mustard seed, they can be lifted up with the same assurance of David when he declared, “You (God) will answer me”.
When we are faced with our own day of trouble is God the first place we turn for help? Is He a second choice, third choice, or even a last resort? Do you believe if you will but make God your refuge in times of adversity that you will find Him faithful, strong and true? May the troubled humbled heart take away from our passage today that if it will but call upon the Lord, He will be near you. God will answer.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, For I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.~ Psalm 86:3-4 (NKJV)
John Bunyan once wrote, “In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweet experiences of the love of God.” As we continue our study through Psalm 86, verses 3 and 4, we find the Psalmist in fervent supplication to his Lord for tender mercies in a time of trouble. Like Bunyan would later write, David is longing for that sweet experience of God’s love in times of affliction.
In these verses, we see the heart of the Lord’s servant laid bare. David was man who suffered afflictions both inwardly and outwardly. He knew first hand the need for God’s mercy. So here we find him crying out for just that. Notice his plea for mercy is “all day long”. David’s prayer was on-going. He understood the remedy for his trouble was found no place else save the mercy of Almighty God. Therefore we see the importunity, the persistence, of his prayer.
David is seeking restoration, the refreshing, of his soul. This portion of his prayer is a cry for the interposing of divine grace during a trial of adversity. The soul of this servant is being offered up unto the Lord so that He might tend it, nurture it and comfort it. David’s spirit yearns for deliverance from these present afflictions so it might be restored to the joy of the Lord.
Do we seek God persistently in our prayers? Can we allow ourselves to cry out to the Lord in the midst of our own adversity? David would not stop seeking God’s face, His merciful hand, until the rejoicing of his soul had been restored. Affliction can deepen your faith and draw you closer to the Lord and the sweet experience of His love if you will only lift your soul up to Him.