Encouragement from Psalm 143 for Hopeless Places

This morning, I reflected on Psalm 143 and the cry of David when he feels hopeless and depressed. It’s written from a cave where David must hide from the murderous Saul.

Imagine David’s fear, discomfort, and sense of feeling trapped. Imagine all he’s lost from those days of shepherding sheep as a boy. Did he miss his family? Did he miss the life he had? How lonely was he? How sad? How desperate?

From this position, we find perhaps one of the most encouraging prayers to the Lord. A hopeless David writes this:

Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

– Psalm 143: 7-10

Notice what David does when he feels his spirit failing: He knows he needs God’s presence. He knows he needs God’s encouraging love. He knows he needs to put his soul in God’s hands. He knows he needs to hide himself in God.

The Psalm reminds us: The Presence. The Love. The One to Whom we Surrender. The Hiding Place.

What does David know about God that would cause him to take this position before God instead of anything else he might do? Why didn’t he just give up or run far away from his calling? I see how David knows God gives direction, provides rescue, and continues to lead His people.

I find my soul also praying that each new morning, we find a fresh word of God’s unfailing love. I also pray that God’s good Spirit leads us on level ground. God was faithful to David and will deliver us as well. He will teach us to do His will for our lives, too

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