(Psalm 10:1) “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?”
In times of trouble, have you, as a believer of Jesus Christ, ever asked these two questions as David did in the text.? Simply put: God, where are You? and Why is it I cannot see you in my trouble? David set the stage for the lesson this morning.
In the following verses (Psalm 10:2-15), David relates the actions of the wicked to the poor and to the humble. David cries out for God to remember the actions of the wicked, and to arise and protect the humble (Psa 10:11-12), for the wicked say of God: (11) “He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.” Then, David began his petition to God, (12) “Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.”
God, where are you for the poor and humble in the times of trouble? (Psa 10:13) “Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.” But, David said to God, (Psa 10:14) “Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.” David continues to remind God of the times of trouble the wicked have brought upon the poor and humble, and of Who God is, (Psa 10:16) “The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.”
But, the fact remained to David, and to those for whom he prayed for deliverance; God had not answered his prayer visibly; for they were still in trouble. To David, God was afar off, and was hiding Himself from those in trouble. But the question why is implied. God, what is the problem? You promised God; now it is time to help the poor and the humble. (Ps. 10:1) “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
God promised in (Heb. 13:5), to never leave us (the children of God), nor forsake us. Then, as David asked – so for the believer in times of trouble when he can’t find God in the situation, he asks – What is the problem; I am in trouble and I can’t find God? When this happens, doubts began to flood the spirit, unbelief sets in; and the child of God starts walking by sight and not by faith. Then fear takes control; then there is no peace.
One may ask, How does this happen in the believer? The answer is the indwelling flesh, and the yielding to the deception of the flesh. The flesh loves to get the child of God to walk by sight and not by faith.
The writer of this devotion is not condemning the reader that finds himself in this situation; for all of the children of God have to contend with the flesh, or the old man, where sin dwells in the believer (Rom. 7:14-24), on a daily basis. There are times when God seems to hide His Face, or His Presence, from the believer.
The question comes, why does God seemly hide His Face when He is needed most? When this happens in the believer, note the following reasons:
- Causes in the believer Self-Examination (gives revelation or illumination)
First, the persecuted need to know why the persecution? Is it because of their sin (Ps. 32:1-5)? If so, the believer must confess his sin, as David did in (Psa. 32:5) “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” However, if it is, the light they (the persecuted, the righteous) project that reveals the persecutor’s sin (Jn. 3:19-21), then, it is on the persecutor and not the believer.
Secondly, the persecuted believer compares the spirit of the one persecuting them against their own spirit; to see the difference wherein their allegiance lies. Is the spirit of the persecuted the love of Christ? (Jn. 13:34-35) The believer must ask, ‘Am I the problem?’ ‘Is the spirit of the persecutor wicked, and their actions motived by the flesh?’ (Eph. 4:22) After a close examination of the Scriptures; it is easily identified that the persecuted are hated as was Jesus (Jn. 15:18-21). Therefore, the problem lies in the evil nature of the wicked (the persecutor).
The believer should always examine to find out if the persecution he is receiving is for righteousness sake, or if it is self-inflected. If not for righteousness sake; then, the believer must come to God in the prayer of confession (1 Jn. 1:9); turn from the sin of his flesh and follow Christ. But, if he is being persecuted for the name of Christ, let him stand in faith; count it all joy that he is suffering for righteousness sake; waiting on God to carry out His promises.
- Causes the Believer to Remember the Promises of God
First, God is their Hiding Place (Ps. 33:6-7) “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (7) Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Many times, the believer needs reminding Who God is to him; this takes place in times of trouble; He is the believer’s Protector at all times (Ps. 121:1-6). There are literally hundreds of Promises that God has made to His children of Provision, Protection, Power, and Peace in times of trouble. Remember, the just shall live by Faith, or by Christ (Gal. 2:20). When all seems to be lost; when, it seems, all have forsaken you; even when you think God has forsaken you – stop leaning to what you see, and what you hear in the physical; and seek out God’s promises and (Pro 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” In times of trouble for the believer, he Must remember the Promises of God to him. The only path to success for the believer in times of trouble is to look to God, and to Him alone.
- Causes the Believer to actually partake of the Promises of God (by responding to; or being obedient to)
First, (2 Peter 1:4) “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” First, trouble causes you to remember the Promises of God; and next trouble causes the believer to stand on the Promises, and thereby be a “partake of the divine nature.” That is, to feed, to intake, to assimilate, to digest, the promises of God into the spirit. The key word is to “trust” or to “believe” God; stand on the Promises; that is walk by faith (Heb. 11:1, 6). (Psa 32:10) “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.” When the believer is put in a position that his own strength is useless for deliverance; then, he is driven to God for his refuge. But, until the believer reaches the end of himself; many times, he never looks to God for his deliverance; but, rather to his own strength. When the believer remembers and responds to the promises of God, then he is partaker of the divine nature of God. Not only a hearer of God’s Word; but, a doer of God’s Word (Jas. 1:21-22).
- Causes the believer to experience the Victory of Christ
First, when victory is experienced in times of trouble, Christ is praised; the believer is assured that God is still God, and that God’s promises are for him. Second, it gives the believer the confidence he needs to push forward on his earthly journey, knowing (Phil. 4:13, 19):
(Phil. 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
(Phil. 4:19) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
The proof is in the results; God is honored through the believer’s seeking Him in prayer; and the believer is supplied the answer to his prayer request.
These four results are obviously only a few of the results that happen to the believer in times of trouble. God has a perfect design in allowing the believer to seek His face in times of trouble. God is always near to the believer. God promised that He would never leave nor forsake His child (Heb. 13:5c). His Promises are sure and amen in Christ. The believer is taught once again; God is not against His Child. No, a thousand times no; for (Rom 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Yes, amen and amen; but, the problem is, while the believer is going through the time of trouble, when doubts and fear and unbelief creep into his spirit – he thinks to himself, is God really going to come through and bring me the victory over the enemy? Or, is God going to leave me and let me perish? Until the persecuted believer seeks God in prayer; until God does His work in the believer (Phil. 2:13); until the believer stands still and waits patiently on God to do His work, trusting the Promises of God, even though he can’t figure it out on a physical plane – the believer will not experience the victory that is in Christ.
But, when the opposite takes place in the believer, the Victory is his experience, even before it happens. Then, peace and power belong to the believer through faith (Heb. 11:6). When peace comes, the believer knows without a doubt – God sees the trouble; and God hears his prayer. When peace comes to the believer, God gives the believer the assurance and confidence that Victory has already been declared in Christ. The believer knows, time and relief are in the hands of God, and not man; no matter what the situation is around him. The believer knows this victory will also be his, because he is a child of God and a partaker of all the promises of God in Christ.
In closing, this devotion is simple; yet, the truth set forth in this devotion is complex when the believer is depending upon his own flesh, and when he is doubting the Promises and the Power of God – for the times of trouble without the Peace of God is unbearable. But, with the Peace of God, the believer can be still, and wait on God’s deliverance. Remember, the times of trouble are for growth and maturity in trusting God; they prove the believer as to whether he will keep the commandments or no (Deut. 8:2-6). It is so easy in times of trouble to accuse God when any resistance or suffering comes in the flesh; instead of knowing that God loves you and has good for you, even in Times of Trouble.