December 23 2022
Today, Friday December 23
Dealing With Special Burdens
“My eyes are ever toward the LORD, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred.
Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all their troubles!
Christmas time should be a time of joyous celebration as remember the Lord’s birth two-thousand years ago. But it can also be a very difficult time for many of us. Maybe you had a loved one who passed away this past year and this is your first Christmas without them. Or it could be that there are broken relationships in your family and even the thought of getting together is bringing great emotional distress. Life is full of regrets, bad memories, hurt, pain and suffering that comes from both without and within.
So, what should we do when we are stretched out, or stressed out emotionally? My friend, we should follow David’s example here in Psalm 25 and cry out to the Lord in prayer and remember His mercy and lovingkindness! David is in the midst of a great trial as he is writing out his prayer in this Psalm. David once again turns to prayer and mentions to the Lord the special burdens that beset him, the dangerous enemies without, and the distressing emotions within. But he wouldn't mention them to the Lord if he didn't believe the Lord could help him! What were the enemies that God helped him to conquer?
Danger (v. 15). The enemy had put snares in the path, but David trusted the Lord to protect him. Satan is a destroyer and a murderer and would trap us all if he could, but if we are in God's will, he can't harm us.
Loneliness (v. 16). Those who have never had to exercise authority and make difficult decisions involving other people sometimes overlook the loneliness of leadership. As we obey the Lord, we sometimes see friends and even family members turn against us, and this is painful. Three of David's sons—Absalom, Amnon, and Adonijah—turned against him, and so did his close friend and counselor Ahithophel.
A broken heart (v. 17). If we sit alone and feel sorry for ourselves, we will never grow in the Lord and accomplish greater things for Him. Enlarged trouble will either make us or break us, turn us into giants or crush us into pygmies. Review Psalm 4:1 and 18:19 and 36 to see how God helped David to grow. God can heal a broken heart if we give Him all the pieces and let Him have His way.
Regrets (v. 18). As we have seen from verse 7, David may have had deep regrets because of things he had done in the past, and these regrets were robbing him of peace and joy. Satan is the accuser (Rev. 12:10) and wants to remind us of our sins, even though the Lord has forgiven them and holds them against us no more (Heb. 10:11-18).
Fear (vv. 19-20). We don't know what the situation was, but whatever it was, David feared for his life. Even more, he feared that he would fail and bring disgrace to the name of the God he loved. His enemies were increasing and so was his fear, but he trusted the Lord to take care of both.
Despair (vv. 21-22). "I wait on you" also means "I have hope in you." To lose hope is to surrender the future to the enemy, and that only destroys the meaning of the present. David was a man of integrity (Psalm 7:8; 26:1, 11; 41:12; 78:72); he was wholehearted in his obedience to the Lord. Whatever lies the enemy was spreading about him, David knew that the Lord saw his heart and approved of his character.
The prayer in verse 22 may have been added so the psalm could be used in public worship, but it expresses a basic truth: we are never alone in our trials, for as members of God's believing community, we have encouragement from one another. Our brothers and sisters around the world are also suffering trials (1 Peter 5:9), so we are not alone.
David survived his trials and was able to write in Psalm 26:12: "My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the Lord". May the Lord help us to follow his example!