SAVED IN ADVERSITY
The first benefit of praising God from Psalm 107:1, 8 is “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good…He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with His goodness.” It is so wonderful when we experience His goodness, but every day is not a “peaches and cream” day. Adversity, distresses, or storms of life are a regular part of our time here on earth. We often have to be reminded that we need someone outside of ourselves to hang onto in these times.
Today, we will consider our second benefit of praising God—”They cried to the Lord in their trouble and He saved them out of their distresses” (Psalm 107:6, 13, 19; 28; compare Psalm 30:2-5; 72:12). In these last verses, the word for “cried” means to “sheik with anguish or danger.” In other words, while in need, shout out for help with a piercing voice, even a very desperate wail before God. This is not just casually asking for our needs.
When adversity surrounds us and there is no way out, we feel as though we have a “tiger by the tail,” being whipped from one side to the other and usually landing upside down. Where do we need to run when this happens? First, we must run to God for He alone has the power to help.
God must bring us out of darkness and the shadow of death, and He must break our chains that bind us. Sin is usually what binds us, so investigate what is holding you back from victory. Distresses or storms of life are designed to make us wake up to recognize we have a need. Is sin ruling or reigning in our life?
Also, we need others to come along side of us. “No man is an island;” we all need each other. When life is about to drown us, it is so very comforting when a brother or sister comes to help. During that time, we bind together with them in a special way so that our relationship is strengthened.
There are things to be considered as we call on the Lord for help. The first word out of Jesus’ mouth when He began to preach was “REPENT, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Repent means “to think differently and change our direction in life.” In order to change our mind, we need to consider these next truths from Psalm 34. We must cry out in these ways:
a) GIVE THANKS to the Lord for Who He is and What He has done for us to secure salvation through Jesus, His Son, even while walking in adversity. (Psalm 34:1-3, 8; 31:7). BLESSING, PRAISING, MAGNIFING, and EXALTING God for who He is and what He has done for us are other words that express giving thanks (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-14, 17-23; 5:20; Psalm 103);
b) We must HUMBLE ourselves before God and ask forgiveness. Allow Him to point our sin in our life (Psalm 34:2b; James 4:7-10);
c) REVERENCE or FEAR God will bring benefits (Psalm 34: 7, 9, 11; 103:11, 13, 17-18; compare Daniel 6:22). One aspect of the fear (or reverence) of the Lord means for us to “keep our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking deceit; depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:13-14);
d) SEEK the LORD to do His commandments—be RIGHTEOUS before Him (Psalm 34:15, 17; Exodus 20:3-17; Matthew 5:3-12). We must obey God and His word (John 14:15, 21; 15:10);
e) We must have a BROKEN HEART and a REPENTANT SPIRIT (Psalm 34:18; compare Psalm 145: 18; Isaiah 57:15). The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust n Him shall be condemned.” (Psalm 34:22).
After crying to the Lord in their distresses, He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions (Psalm 107:20). True healing comes from knowing and obeying God’s
Word. The Word of God has healing power (Hebrews 4:12-13). We are to hide God’s Word in our heart that we may not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). We are to meditate on His word and delight in it, not forget it (Psalm 119:15-16).
Remember, God’s word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Thank you, God for saving us in our distresses and healing us through Your word!
God is so very good to His children! “…The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who reverence Him and keep His covenant, to those who remember His commandments to do them (Psalm 103:17-18). “He saved them and brought them out of darkness, even the shadow of death…and broke their chains (v. 14). Satan is after the Christian to bind us up, if possible, in order to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). God’s eyes are on the ways of man and He sees his steps…for He hears the cry of the afflicted” (Job 34:21, 28b; 31:4; Psalm 56:13);
In Psalm 103