- Written by Rita Langeland
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me...
Psalm 138:7-8a (NKJV)
Have you ever felt like you were in the “midst of trouble?” David understood this experience very well. He had been anointed by the prophet Samuel while he was still a young adolescent tending to his father’s flock of sheep, and Samuel prophesied that he would become the king of Israel. Not long after that event, David began to serve as the armor bearer to King Saul.
David was immensely successful, slaying the giant Goliath, when no other soldier in Israel was willing to face him in hand to hand combat. Then he led a troop of 1000 soldiers into battle after battle, without losing a single one. This caused King Saul to become insanely jealous of the victorious young warrior that David had become. Saul decided to kill David to eliminate any chance that David might take his throne. He began to pursue David in the wilderness seeking to take his life. It was while hiding in a cave from Saul and his army, that David wrote the words found in Psalm 138. He began by saying, “I will praise you with my whole heart…” Though he was in his darkest hour, he made a choice to praise God in the middle of his circumstances.
David had discovered a spiritual secret. He knew if he was going to have victory over his situation, he could not focus on how desperate and hopeless the problem appeared. He had to choose to look to God, who is bigger than any circumstance, and praise Him. We face this same choice every time we are in “the midst of trouble.” By following David’s example we can experience victory by understanding the power of this same spiritual secret.
Another spiritual secret that David understood is revealed in verse three. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. David would purposefully remember past occasions when God had delivered him from trouble. By doing this he was building his faith. He would remember that God had rescued him before and this renewed his confidence that God would do it again. Can you remember specific times when God came through for you when you were in desperate need of a breakthrough? It is vital for you to intentionally recall past interventions of God in your life. It will build up your faith and it will help you stay focused on God’s power and love for you rather than the magnitude of the difficulty you are facing. David did this repeatedly throughout his life and it is reflected in the scriptures.
The second part of verse three tells us that David believed God would make him bold, with “strength in his soul.” The “soul” refers to the mind, will and emotions of a man. When you are in a desperate situation your soul comes under severe pressure. Your emotions are pressed to react in fear, anxiety, hopelessness or despair. David remembered that in past times of trouble, God not only answered him when he called, but he strengthened his mind, will and emotions so that he could handle the pressure of the moment. This is a promise you need to claim for yourself. You don’t have to fall apart when you are in “the midst of trouble.”
Another observation that can be made from this psalm, is that David was able to acknowledge his current circumstances without being devastated by them. In verse 7 he says, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.” He acknowledged that he was facing difficult circumstances but it did not destroy his faith. Some people feel the need to “deny” that they have any difficulties and feel that by doing so they are expressing faith. But true Bible faith does not deny problems, faith is able to look at the problem and boldly proclaim that God is more than enough to overcome it! That is what we see in David’s case. He confidently proclaims that God will move on his behalf and that God’s power will deliver him.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. (Psalm 138:7)
This verse paints the picture of God stretching forth one hand to hold off the enemy coming against David and reaching with His other hand to rescue him. Can you see God doing that for you in your situation? David saw no sign of it with his natural eyes, but with the eye of faith he could imagine such a powerful deliverance coming from the God he loved and served. Ask the Lord for the grace to see His deliverance coming to pass in your situation with the eye of faith.
David concludes this psalm with an amazing profession of faith in verse 8: The Lord will perfect that which concerns me...This is an important statement because it reveals the depth of David’s faith in what God would do for him.
That word “perfect” is translated from a Hebrew word that means “to end, in the sense of completion OR failure.” This word suggests that there are two kinds of “endings.” There is an ending that takes place because something was completed or fulfilled, such as a promise of God for your life. Then there is also an ending that results from the utter failure of a thing attempted, such as the devil’s attacks against you.
God wants to fulfill completely those things in your life that need to be fulfilled and to terminate those things that need to come to an end. David understood this and believed that God would do it for him. He had faith that God would bring to fulfillment the promise given to him by the prophet Samuel that he would become the king of Israel despite the fact that while hiding in a cave it looked like he would never reach the palace! David also believed that God would bring to an end Saul’s vicious attempt to murder him. God wants you to have a faith like David despite the impossibilities of your current circumstances.
I found myself claiming this promise in Psalm 138 with regard to a certain missions project in East Africa a few years ago. Our ministry had committed to sponsor a large Pastor’s Conference in Tanzania in which we were paying for the food and lodging for 300 pastors who would be attending from many provinces across the country. We were in need of more than $12,000 for this event and 2 weeks before the day I was scheduled to fly to Tanzania I still did not have the money. I was praising God day and night that “He would perfect that which concerns me.”
The situation looked very bleak as there was no way of raising the money in that short time frame and no way to cancel the event at that late date. I intentionally reviewed in my mind each and every time God had come through for me in the past and I praised Him for those past deliverances. I felt my faith rising as I meditated on the miracles I had seen God do for the ministry and as well as in my personal life in days past. I truly experienced God “strengthening my soul” as I was not experiencing any fear or doubt that the money would come in time. Exactly one week before I was to step on that plane, God provided the money. The amount I received was more than I had prayed for, but turned out to be exactly what was actually needed. And God was perfectly aware of the timing, since the bank had to process the check and placed a “hold” on that money which only released one day before our team left for Africa. God perfected that which concerned me by fulfilling His promise of provision and bringing to an end the “faith test” that this challenging situation presented.
God wants to do the same for you but He requires that you believe His Word and take hold of it by faith. If you are in the “midst of trouble” and need God’s intervention, then take Psalm 138 as your spiritual roadmap:
1) Determine to praise God with your whole heart - focusing on His love and power rather than your problem.
2) Intentionally recall and review every past deliverance God has wrought in your life.
3) Make the same profession of faith that David did until you see it come to pass: God will perfect that which concerns me.
Then you too will have an awesome testimony of God's intervention and provision for your life. HE WILL PERFECT THAT WHICH CONCERNS YOU!
Rita Langeland ©2014 Hidden With Christ Ministries
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