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Praying Under Pressure - 27

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
June 27, 2020 1:49 pm

Praying Under Pressure - 27

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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June 27, 2020 1:49 pm

Dr. David Jeremiah's commitment is to teach the whole Word of God. His passion for people and his desire to reach the lost are evident in the way he communicates Bible truths and his ability to get right to the important issues.

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Christian report reviewed division Harding Akayev deep in despair. David felt the Godhead abandoned him for what he's gotten you that I don't hear much is the truth that nothing can hide you from God's love with listeners that which is playing under pressure. Thank you for joining us for the weekend edition of Turning Point today when you talk about this truth. There is prayer. Prayer praying when you're under pressure is a lot different than the normal praying. We do, and perhaps the intensity of that prayer should be transferred over into our everyday experience to learn a lot about it today.

As we look at Psalm 142 and David praying under pressure. I'm not surprised when people come up to me and tell me that King David is one of their favorite people in the Bible is one of mine as well. Even though it has nothing to do with the similarity of our names. One of the reasons I think we love David.

In the Old Testament and Peter in the New Testament is because they seem to touch life in more places than any other of the characters that we study someone is suggested that King David is the man for all seasons because his story mirrors the expressions and feelings of our own hearts.

No matter where we happen to be. He was a man of faith and a man of great vision, but he was also a man who struggled with discouragement and with depression during his days as a fugitive from great pressure by King Saul.

David faced many long days and many difficult hours. In fact, students of the book of Psalms believe that David wrote at least eight different songs while he was running away from Saul, the superscription over our Psalm today is very clear. It says a prayer of David when he was in the cave and there is another Psalm which we shall look at briefly at the end of this message. That is also exactly like this. It has a superscription about where David was when he wrote it. Psalm 57 reads like this, a Mick Tom or teaching Psalm of David when he fled from Saul into the cave he was running away from the most powerful man in his world outnumbered most of the time and arm to not even close to the armament that was in the hands of his enemy and he is finally found the place where he can get away from it all and pour out his heart to God and sort out his life. He is found the cave we might call it the cave of discouragement. Many of us, including the one who speaks you have visited that cave on occasion. Sometimes things get so difficult for us sometimes things are so tough that we begin to think that God has forgotten us and that he doesn't care. And when we examine David's experience.

We learn first of all that we are not alone in our troubles. One of the reasons why we turn off into the Psalms is because as we read the Psalms. We all of a sudden begin to realize that somebody else before us.

In fact a long time before us as felt many of the same emotions that we feel you cannot read the book of Psalms without finding somewhere along the way word that fits the situation that you face in your life how faithful we should all be that David preserved all of this information for us. He wrote down his thoughts in a journal, and he teaches us the value of writing out our thoughts. That's kind of a little pet project. I've been on to try to encourage all of you to take some time periodically to journal your thoughts and your prayers before God when David went beyond simple journaling. He didn't just record for us the events of his life and a few of his prayers. He wrote out his prayers to God and he described the working of God in his life so that you can actually chart the course of David as he moves through the problems of his life and comes out on the other side victoriously as we chart his flight away from Saul, we discover that the cave into which he has fled is the cave of Abdullah.

There are two caves in David's life. What is the cave of a dueling which is the source of this particular Psalm, which were studying today.

The other is the cave out and get a which was the place where David cut off the skirt of Saul's robe and mentioned to him later that he had been close enough to take his life. Not one of the beauties of the Psalms is putting them together with the historical narratives in the Old Testament books of Samuel and finding out where the Psalm fits in the life of David, and I can be absolutely certain, but I believe I know where this Psalm fits and I will ask you to turn back to it because I wanted to stay right with me but you can read with me the words of first Samuel chapter 22 verses one and two and then you will see where this Psalm fits into the life of David David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Abdullah and when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him.

Now watch carefully, and everyone who was in distress and everyone who was in debt and everyone who was discontented gathered unto him, so he became captain over them and there were about 400 men with him. Now most scholars believe that King Saul had levied a heavy tax on the people of Israel and that many of these people who went down to the cave of a dueling to be with David were discontented and in debt because they were victims of high taxation struggling for their very existence. Many were no doubt old friends of David who resorted there to help him, but as word got out, others decided to join David in this cave. In fact, in the next chapter. First Samuel, you'll discover that the number grew from 400 to 600 so this is a growing clan down there in the cave of a duel, of course, this wasn't just your one man cave.

This was a huge cavern 40 feet opening.

They tell me 20 feet high to walk in the door. So here is this man who's trying to get away from his problems and get away from Saul get away from life. He finally finds a place where he can resort and all of a sudden he looks up and these people start coming and I want you to notice carefully with me how the Bible describes them.

They are everyone who was a debtor and everyone who was distressed and everyone who was discontented now when I go to the cave for my time of discouragement. If those words describe you don't come and see me.

I can imagine what this must've been like for David when he looked up already in his misery and begin to realize what was happening. The off scouring of Israel was beginning to gather on to him in the cave of a dueling as he sat in that cave. David had plenty of time to about his walk with God and he probably went into the cave to be alone, wanting to get away from everyone. Instead he found himself surrounded by the distrust of Israel and taking a hard look at his life. He wrote his thoughts and his prayers in his journal.

One of the things I like about David is he's an emotional person I know that some people think as Christians we should never be emotional. We should always be kind of the same kind of vanilla. If you know what I mean. But David expressed his emotions and strong words and as he describes for us in this entry into his journal.

What he's feeling at this time he leaves no doubt as to the distress of his soul. He begins by pointing out how disoriented he is. He says at the beginning of this passage that his spirit was overwhelmed within him. Verse three.

The Hebrew words in that phrase literally mean in the muffling of my spirit. He had come to the place where his powers of judgment had been so weakened that he did not know what to do. In other words, he felt like a flood was rushing in upon him and he could barely stand up against the flood like he was trying to move against the current and there was no way he could make any progress. That's the picture of disorientation he was being hunted by the king. He was surrounded by everyone who was hurting. He was so encumbered with problems that he didn't know what to do first and so he is feeling this anguish in his life. If you read a story you know that is just recently, from a serious mistake were the inhabitants of the village of Nob had all been killed because he had gone out of the will of God for a period of time, and King Saul had the entire city killed because they had taken care of David in his run away from the king.

All of these emotions going through his mind, and I can visualize him if you allow me a little sanctified imagination.

He's sitting there in the cave he's got his head in his hands and is trying to sort through all of this, he looks up for minute and sees all the people that a company puts his head back down in his hands. He says Lord God, what am I going to do disoriented. Then as you continue to read the Scripture you discover that he has another emotion that's very much a part of his life he feels deserted. This next verse is one of the saddest verses in the Bible.

In my estimation. Verse four says this I looked on my right hand, and behold, there was no man that would know me, refuge failed me for no man cared for my soul. This is the same David who wrote in Psalm 16 and verse eight.

I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. At one time David felt like no matter where he was and what he was doing the Lord was always before him. But now the experiences of life is so overwhelmed him that as he sits alone in this cave, perhaps sequestered away from the rest of the men he feels like there's not anybody who really cares about him he cannot find the Lord at his right hand and it's strange for me to read these words when we have just discovered that he's in this rather small dwelling for a large group of people be surrounded by 400 men and yet he's alone. How many of you know that being alone is possible in the midst of a crowd.

The Bible doesn't say that there was nobody around him. The Bible says no one knew him, nor cared for his soul. He looked on his right hand where he would've expected to find an advocate or a friend and there was no one problems have a tendency to isolate as you know that I don't know how the rest of you men deal with the issues of life and the problems that you face.

But I'm one of those male creatures who has a tendency to turn inward when problems come to get client to just kind of vary it all down in here not want to talk to anyone. We build the shell around ourselves, thinking were the only ones with the difficulties and the more we think about it, the more certain we are that no one else understands. I think about times I wished I could go and talk with another pastor. Tell them about some of the things I was struggling with, but I would think about doing it meant I would think will what will they think I'm supposed to know how to do these things are what will they say it so you just keep it all inside Alexander McLaren one of the great writers of Scripture describes it this way.

He says the soul but has the way through deep waters usually has to do it alone.

We have companions enjoy but in sorrow we have to face things by ourselves and Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote these famous lines which you've heard before laugh and the world laughs with you, but we and you weep alone. There's something about problems that drive us into a feeling of being deserted.

Now we usually are not. It's usually what we think were like Elijah who thought he was the only prophet left to believe in God and God had to remind him that there were just a few more than the one he thought was there but David felt deserted and then notice in verse six he feels depressed.

He uses an expression in his prayer. He says I am brought very low. I know that this is a touchy subject among some Christians that a Christian can never be depressed. I've actually heard preachers preach that if you're depressed you can't be a Christian because Christians don't get depressed, but I don't know what they do with the word of God, because as I read the Scripture I read about, to Elijah, who was depressed. Jonah, who was depressed and Moses, who face depression and here we have King David, a man after God's own heart and depression and the word that he uses for depression is the word for indentation. He equates this word with his soul. He says I've got an indentation in my soul and I'm depressed I don't know if you've ever talk with depressed people, but as a pastor. On occasion I've had a chance to counsel with people going through depression and I know what a heavy burden that is to feel that low in your spirit.

I've known people who have ended their lives because as they looked out into the future. They have been so filled with despair that life did not seem worth living anymore.

David was depressed like that all of us hope and joy were God's thoughts to turn inward King Saul's harassment was no longer the problem. It was David's own heartbeat and become the problem. He allowed what it happened to him in his circumstances to drive him in word and not to sense the presence of God in his life.

I remember telling you when I began the series on the Psalms about the depression that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great London preacher used to face. I was reminded that when I was in seminary I was given the two little copies of his books the lectures to my students and I looked at those recently and I remembered that there was a chapter in his lectures to his students and the title of the chapter was the minister's fainting fits. I remember when I got those books as a first chapter I read because I couldn't imagine what would be in that chapter, but in the chapter Charles Spurgeon says this fits of depression come over most of us usually cheerful as we may be we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous. The wise not always ready brave not always courageous and the joy is not always happy. There may be here and there man of iron, but surely they must worry about rust on occasion. See if you can think of who might have said this a famous American leader. I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family there would not be one cheerful face on the earth to remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better. You may be surprised to know that those were the words of Abraham Lincoln, the great president of the United States. So don't tell me that people don't have depression if there Christians or if there people in positions of leadership.

Sometimes, the greater the expectation and the greater the responsibility, the greater the tendency to be depressed, he felt depressed and then he felt defeated.

Notice verse six he cries out in his prayer Lord deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I am now what you knows what he did. David sat down in his depression. He got a yellow tablet out and he started put things in columns and he put all things were going for them on this, and all the things were against him on this column and we got done he could hardly think of anything in the good column and the other column was full right down to the bottom of the page and he told it all up and he said it's over mantises. This is unfinished. Those who are against me are greater than those who are for me.

There's no debt. You see when you get into depression. Your ability to reason gets fuzzy and foggy and you begin to see everything through a dark lens and you can't see life as it really is and that's where David was already consigned himself to defeat in so many words. In fact, he goes on to say in verse seven that he is like in prison that he is incarcerated by his troubles and there is no way he can get out and he comes to this very low point in his life with. Thank God he doesn't stay there for as we have looked at the description of his discouragement, we can go back through the same Psalm and see how discouragement was defeated in his life, for he went through this pattern that all of us can follow if when we get into the cave of discouragement. We will just listen with our inner ear to the word of God. Notice first of all, he began to verbalize his problems to God. So many people say what I should be telling got all my problems. God already knows my problems before ever asking know, so why should I be telling on my problem. We know what I don't know the theological answer to that question but I know the biblical answer, you should do it because God tells you to do it and if that's not enough reason, I can't help but there are more reasons than just being obedient. If you look in the first verse. David uses very clear language.

He says I cry out to the Lord with my voice with my voice to the Lord. I make supplication in verse five he says I cried to you oh Lord, and in verse six, attend to my cry. David tells God how he is feeling. He describes what is going on inside of him. When we speak our minds fully and we name the problems and the people that play because it is like revealing a secret to our best friend and God is there and he cares about us and we can tell him anything and we ought to tell him what's going on in our life. That's the beginning place. What you say pastor on the good father God with you know I got busy. He's got a whole world to run and he didn't care about my little problems. You keep thinking like that news can keep going deeper and deeper into the fit of depression in your life. God has said were cast all of our care upon him were to bring him our burdens and were to tell the Lord what is in our heart and when we refuse to do that we short-circuit the healing process that he wants to bring about within us.

Notice the second thing David did he not only verbalized his problems before God. But be careful not not getting psychological on you. He visualized his problems before God. Notice what he says in this very same context. He says I've put out my complaint before him, I declare before him my trouble.

Take your pan and underline the words before him there in the text twice now. Here's what David is saying when he gets his problem all sorted out. He takes it and he kind of like on a scroll, he unrolls it in the presence of God and nieces God. Here's my problem. Now you see what happens a lot of times we get into this issue were we pray. But God doesn't get into the equation. If you don't lift God up and worship and praise and make them a part of the entry part of your prayer when you get to these praying your problems to God. All you're doing is rehearsing your own misery. And as I told you before there's a way to pray where you feel worse when you're done, and before you started, but when you enter into his presence with praise and when you open up your heart to God and see who God really is and began to pray to the one who was the creator of the universe. All of a sudden your prayer gets into the perspective of Almighty God and I love the way David says that he pours out his prayer before God.

One of the reasons you find praise in almost every one of the Psalms of encouragement is because just from the human thinking process now when you praise God. God gets into the equation of your prayer until you praise God you can pray as if God were watching you instead of as if he were the one to whom you were pray and then notice.

Thirdly, as he climbs up out of this time of despondency. He recognizes his presence before God. Notice verse three. This is incredible. Verse he says when my spirit was overwhelmed within me. Then you knew my path.

David is beginning to realize that it's one thing to verbalize your problems before God.

He's done that he shown God everything that's going on in his mind and in his heart and his emotions, but now what he begins to realize is that all the time he was doing this God was involved already and that when he was walking through this time of discouragement and overwhelmed with the problems of his life. Even then, God knew him.

Even when David didn't know or think about the presence of God in his situation. Even then, God was there in one of my favorite remembrances of Kapor is something told me that his granddaughter said when David is asking his little granddaughter.

What can you tell me that you learned in Sunday school about God and she said what I learned about God is that God never says oops and you know what, that's a profound theological truth is it not God didn't look down and say all my Davidson McKay Davidson depression. Dave is going through difficult time. David said he finally recognize that when all of the stuff was going on at that very moment God knew and that's all a wonderful revelation to all of us when were going through difficult because troubles can sometimes cloud our vision problems can keep us from seeing God in the picture, and it's not until we begin to realize that God is in the midst of all of this that we can began to see the healing process take place in the presence of God. He realized his provision in God. Notice verse five he said you are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. As David reviews the situation he is told all that there was in his heart he is shown God all that there was in his heart. He is remembered that the one to whom he is praying is the Almighty one, the creator of heaven and earth, and now he begins to rejoice in the provision that God has made for him. He said you are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living and then finally in this outline of what he did.

He verbalized his problems to God, he visualized his problems before God. He recognized his presence before God, he realized his provision in God and finally he resumes his praise to God. In verse seven he says bring my soul out of prison that I may praise your name the righteous shall surround me, for you shall deal bountifully with me. I want to the once again, look at your Bibles and notice in verse one of Psalm 142 we read.

I cry out to the Lord with my voice with my voice to the Lord. I make my supplication for my complaint before him. In verse seven he says for you shall deal bountifully with me. David is gone all the way through the cycle and now it's back up, ready to praise God again. That's what happens when you pray, you know you can pray your way through pressure.

You can pray your way through sickness. You can pray your way through difficulty. You can pray your way through problems. If you're honest in your prayer if you don't get spiritual in the sense of using Christian knees and all of this but you just honestly unload your soul on God, he will meet the need in your life. David started out in depression and he ended up in price. I like to think that when David finished writing Psalm 142. He turned the page of his journal over for one more entry and I want you to turn the pages of your journal over to Psalm 57.

This is also, as you will notice a song that was written in the cave. In fact, it says a Mick Tom which is a word which means a teaching Psalm a teaching Psalm of David when he fled from Saul into the cave and most people believe this was written at the same time or in the same setting as the Psalm which we have just studied, but this is more of a song.

In fact, it's like a lot of our hymns.

There are two verses and one chorus.

The two verses play out and after each verse facing the course and I want you to follow along in your Bibles. As I read this and you will see what I'm talking about the first verse begins at verse one and goes through verse for the first verse of the hymn, be merciful to me.

Oh God, be merciful to me for my soul trusts in you and in the shadow of your wings. I will make my refuge until these calamities have passed by.

I will cry out to God most tied to God who performs all things for me, he shall send from heaven and save me. He who reproaches the one who would swallow me up.

Selah God shall send forth his mercy and his truth by soul is among lions.

I lie among the sons of men were set on fire whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword. Now here's the chorus be exalted. All God above the heavens let your glory be above all the earth, and then he starts to sing verse two. My heart is steadfast.

Oh God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and give praise awake, my glory away gluten harp, I will awake in the dawn.

I will praise you oh Lord among the peoples. I will sing to you among the nations, for your mercy, reaches into the heavens and your truth into the clouds. Here's the course again. Say it out loud with me.

Be exalted, all God above the heavens let your glory be above all the earth. Now in my sanctified imagination. When David finished with his prayer of Psalm 142 he began to sing the words of Psalm 57. I remember he's in this huge cave so he didn't have to sing rollout for rebutted herein, be exalted in that old Lord of heaven's and all of a sudden he heard another raspy voice coming from another part of the cave in one of those 400 rugged man began to sing along with and then someone over here joined in and before he could look around in my mind's eye I see all of these discontented debtors and distressed men standing to their feet and in this sound chamber.

Their singing praise to God be exalted, old Lord among the heavens from the pit of discouragement to the glorious pinnacle of praise to Almighty God can that happen in your life and mine you know and can when we come to God with our problems and we honestly acknowledge who he is, what's going on with us.

We can began to sing.

We hope you enjoyed today's Turning Point, weekend edition with Dr. David Jeremiah to hear this. Another Turning Point programs or get more information about his ministry. Simply download the free Turning Point mobile app for your smart device or visit their that David You can also view Turning Point television on Friday a channel 72 on Sunday mornings at night and on I CCTV Sundays at 6:30 AM and Friday afternoons at one. We invite you to join us again next weekend is Dr. David Jeremiah. She is, and not by a powerful message from God's word here on Turning Point, weekend edition thanks for taking time to listen to find a nice trim piece in Christian style savings and so

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