Psalms 18

Psalms 18

Psalm 18:19Vintage message from June 9, 2002.

“In my distress I called to the Lord. I cried to my God for help.” Exactly where we need to call for help when we find ourselves in these moments of distress. You know, I really like this about David. David is this great man of God, revered by the world now. We look back and we read this story of a mighty man who served God, for the most part, faithfully. But even David, for being such a great king, had those moments in his life where he was distressed, where he struggled, where he had hard times, where he found himself depressed. Just because we know the God Who created us and just because we have this relationship with God — and I believe David had a very intimate relationship with God ¬†even from the time he was a child — does not mean that we will not have those moments where the world and our flesh and our circumstances cause distress and challenges. I’ll tell you what: if you’re not having challenges, if you’re not having moments where your life feels distress, you’re probably not human. I want to know what planet you’re from. All of us face those moments. Some have less challenges than others, but I guarantee you, everyone, no matter what your station in life is, no matter if you’re wealthy or if you’re poor, you will have those moments where the world will challenge you, where your flesh will challenge you, and you will be in distress. And you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay that you recognize those moments in your life. It doesn’t mean you’re not a Christian. It doesn’t mean that you’re unspiritual. It doesn’t even mean that you’re weak. It just means that the world has attacked you. And this is where we find the resolution today. Even though the cords of death entangle us and the thorns of destruction overwhelm us and the cords of the grave coil around us and the snares of death confront us, David said, “In my distress I called to the Lord. I cried to my God for help.” I don’t care what you’re going through, God is always there to hear the cries from your heart. He wants to hear the cries from your heart…

“He rescued me because He delighted in me.” I love this verse. David was a man, human in every way, flawed just like you and I are, made mistakes, made bad decisions, and struggled through life, but yet God delighted in David. Do you realize that God delights in you? This verse isn’t written just to show us how much God loved David, but I believe this verse is given to us as an encouragement. David saw the delight of God in his life, and we know through the blood of Jesus Christ and the fact that God allowed for His Son to suffer and die for us that God delights in men that He created. He’s just asking us to receive and come into that relationship. He delights in us. He delighted in David, and David saw that. He knew his rescue came, not because he was worthy but because God loved him and God cared for him…

Do you know where unrighteousness comes from? It’s not from those silly day-to-day mistakes that we make, but it’s from turning away from God in those mistakes. We have a wonderful, forgiving, loving God Who gave us a way of escape from our sin. God did not ask us to be perfect. He just asked us to find perfection in Him. When He chose us, He chose us knowing that we were unrighteous. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” we’re told in Romans. There’s nothing righteous in us, but God sees us as righteous through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. God sees us as righteous as we seek relationship with Him. What made men unrighteous on the face of this planet was they sought after other gods, they sought after their own flesh, they sought after the things of the world…

Do you realize how much God loves you? Do you realize the strength that you have at your disposal in the Person of the Creator of this universe? He loves you. He pursues you. He desires to have relationship with you. He’ll wipe away your sins. He’ll strengthen your arms. He’ll strengthen your legs. He’ll give you the ability to survive. He doesn’t promise that it’s going to be easy. He doesn’t promise that life is going to be fun. But when you read this psalm and you read the pouring out of David’s heart in gratitude toward God, you see a man who went through a very difficult, rough life, but was loved by God and brought through every step of the way, and then he turned and gives praise to that God. Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know how much God pursues you [and] desires to have you in love relationship with Him? It’s worth pursuing. He is worth pursuing, and if you’ll take stock of your life, even to this point, I guarantee you, you will find those moments in your life where God was present, where God was preventing something from happening, where God was preserving you, where God was strengthening you, where God was bringing you through. In little ways or big ways, God was there. He deserves the praise and the honor from our lips before this world, before the men in this world who do not believe that there is a God Who created them.

Pastor Dave Elkins

Psalms 16-17