October 05 2022
Today, Wednesday October 05
Affliction Can Bring Enlargement
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.”
We believe that this Psalm was also written by David as he was fleeing from his son Absalom who was leading an insurrection against him. Psalm 3 was probably written after David had crossed the Jordan River and was camping with his small band of loyal soldiers at Mahanaim. It is possible that Psalm 4 was written as a song several days later as he continues to flee. We notice that David continued to trust the Lord.
Some of are good at calling on the Lord at the beginning of a trial or difficult time in our life, but as time progresses and nothing seems to change, or even maybe the “hole gets deeper”, we start to lose hope and begin to complain and start blaming God and others for our troubles. We become bitter at a time when we have the opportunity to become better.
In His time, David didn’t have Romans 5:1-5 to read, but he sure believed it before it was ever written by Paul over a 1,000 years later. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Maybe Paul had David in mind when he wrote Romans 5:20, “…., But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”. It sure appears that David believed it! David had confessed his sin of adultery and murder and had found grace, mercy and forgiveness. Notice in his cry for help the first thing he says is, “O God of my righteousness”. David believed that God was a righteous God and would always do what is right and best! David also knew and believed that his personal righteousness was not based on what he did or didn’t do, but that God’s righteousness was his by faith.
We can never make the plea in our prayers for help based on our goodness and our perceived spirituality. “God, please hear me, I’ve been so good lately. I’ve gone to church, I’ve read my Bible and haven’t sinned much in the past few days or weeks.” My friend, that won’t get you anywhere with God. Our plea and access to God is always through the cross and blood of Jesus Christ! God’s throne is a throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 10:19, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”
David knew he didn't deserve any help from the Lord, but he prayed on the basis of God's mercy and favor. God in His grace gives us what we don't deserve, and God in His mercy doesn't give us what we do deserve. David definitely was pleading for both in this verse!
“You have relieved me, enlarged me, in my distress”. David reminded the Lord that He had often delivered him in times past, so He was able to deliver him now. "Distress" means "pressed into a corner, in a tight place." But God "enlarged him" or "set him in a broad place," for David grew spiritually in difficult situations (Psalm 18:19, 36; 25:17; 31:8; 118:5; 119:32).
I am often reminded of a couple of verses in Psalm 119. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word” (v. 67). “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes” (v. 71). Yes, my friend, it is in the difficult and tough times that we have to opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and be “enlarged”. "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (1 Peter 5:10). We will always find “firm footing” in His Word!