“In the day of my trouble I call upon You, for You answer me.” (Psalm 86:7)
There are few people in the Bible who had more recorded troubles than David. For the first part of his life, he was a simple shepherd who was later anointed king over Israel. He gained the favor of Saul, the current king, by playing his harp for him and killing the giant Goliath, and he even married Saul’s daughter. But then Saul became jealous of him and tried to kill him, so he spent quite a few years running for his life. Even after he became king, he fought many wars and dealt with trouble in his own household. At one point, his own son tried to kill him. Then he brought a plague on his kingdom by a foolish act. This was certainly a man who had his fair share of trials. But instead of becoming bitter over them, David allowed his struggles to teach him a priceless lesson—what it means to trust in God.
Psalm 86 is a tribute to God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. When David wrote it, he was probably in mortal danger once again; verse 14 mentions how “a band of ruthless men seeks my life”. My reaction in a situation like that would probably be to complain, demanding to know why God would let something like this happen again and again and again. But David had a different response. “You, O Lord,” he wrote, “are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.” (v.5) In the middle of his great trouble, he praised God for His unchanging attributes, qualities that gave David assurance that He would help him in his distress. Every time he was in danger, God delivered him. David had seen it happen over and over again, and he knew without a doubt that he could trust God. Thus, he could say with confidence, “In the day of my trouble I call upon You, for You answer me.” (v.7)
This is an incredible statement to me. David didn’t say, “for You might answer me,” or even, “for You’ll probably answer me.” No, he said very definitively, “You answer me.” He had absolute faith that whenever he cried to God for help, God replied. Because of that, he could trust Him, even when the situation at hand was nothing less than horrid.
What’s even more amazing is that we can have that exact same confidence. Even though David lived several thousand years ago, we still serve the same God. His steadfast love is just that—steadfast, constant, unchanging. He is still great and does wondrous things; He alone is God. There is none like Him, nor are there any works like His. When we’re in trouble, we too can cry to Him—and He will answer us. No matter what’s going on in our lives, He answers. We can always trust Him to hear us. He truly is an awesome God!