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Praying Under Pressure - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2020 1:49 pm

Praying Under Pressure - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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June 18, 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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It's easy to see what you're going to go to go to the Brandon's have some problems with his go to new that I am Turning Point. Dr. David Jeremiah, she is like on the encouraging truth that nothing can hide you from God's love of a series regular. His diving is today's message trying under pressure well of course I have favorites and adversaries that we do I have to tell you this is one of my favorite songs. Here's David isolated in a cave and starts out so dismally and in so triumphantly and will be only thing I think about as I read the schedule in front of me as I want to give you additional part today and you have to wait until Monday to get the triumphant part but I'll throw in a little encouragement before finished. This is a great saw some hundred and 42, and the history behind it that were going to share. This is what makes it come alive. It's why the psalm is so important when you understand where it fit in David's life. Well, here we go into my favorite psalm of the Psalms were studying some hundred and 42, playing 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 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 has suggested that King David is a 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 the 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 began 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 began to realize that somebody else before us.

In fact a long time before us has felt many of the same emotions that we feel you cannot read the book of Psalms without finding somewhere along the way, a 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 riding out our thoughts that's been 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 Abdullah, which is the source of this particular Psalm, which were studying today. The other is the cave of in Gabbay 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 would 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 escape 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 dual 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 clam down there in the cave of Abdullah, but of course this wasn't just your one man cave.

This was a huge cavern 40 feet opening.

They tell me 20 feet high walk in the door. So here is this man who is 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 the dueling someone is suggested that David leading this ragtag group of friends became like the Robin Hood of his day. W Graham's groggy who is a writer of commentaries on the Old Testament has this to say about the man who resorted to David he said what a crew. The three D's have formed many of assembly since then, the debtors, the distressed and the discontented, and he said there very hard to get on with their very hard to get along with and so man like David would feel very lonely in the midst of them, as he sat in that cave.

David had plenty of time to think 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 distressed of Israel and taking a hard look at his life. He wrote his thoughts and his prayers in his journal. I 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 this 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 runaway from the king. All of these emotions going through his mind, and I can visualize them 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 a minute and sees all the people that have 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 us. 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 bury 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 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 that 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 weep 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 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 on on 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.

It 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 his hope and joy were God's thoughts to turn inward King Saul's harassment was no longer the problem. It was David's own heart. Become the problem. He allowed what happened to him in his circumstances to drive him in the 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 the 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. I want you to notice 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 column 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, man, this is this is unfinished.

Those who are against me are greater than those who are for me. There's no 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. He'd 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 interfered to the word of God. Notice first of all, he began to verbalize his problems to God. So many people say why should be telling God all my problems.

God already knows my problems before ever asking know, so why should I be telling Don 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 really 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 I'm not gonna bother 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 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 thinness will will pass this on Monday. I hope you survive over the weekend and join us as we open our Bibles again to some hundred and 42 well I don't know what to say about the weekends have been kind of challenge myself to go to an auditorium on Saturday night and preach to an empty auditorium and then have 80,000 people watch it. I'm not really sure what this all means.

I know I don't like doing what I'm doing. I would rather not do this. God has planted a purpose and here's where we are we doing the best we can. Maybe it's touching you and helping you. I hope it does this keep praying that God will give us wisdom as we move back into our regular routines. Have a great weekend's message comes from Shadow Mountain Community Church with Dr. David Jeremiah serves as senior pastor 10 report is ministering to his right and let us not Turning Point PO Box 5858, San Diego, CA 92163 visit our website. It David Jeremiah/ready Oscar your copy of David's new book shelf in don't sure to encourage you in this unprecedented time if any amount purchase the Jeremiah study Bible standard and new international visions and and stand in the large print in the new King James variety Henson, visit the Gary who join us Monday as we continue. This is when your loopholes upon Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, thanks for taking time to listen to this friend he's in question

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