Psalm 143:7-10 (NLT)
Come quickly, LORD and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Like so many psalms of David, this one is a cry to God for rescue. The psalmist feels overwhelmed by enemies to the point of desperation and despair. Knowing he can do nothing to save himself, he has two choices. He can surrender his life in defeat to his enemies, or he can take hold of the God he has learned to trust.
We know from experience how life’s troubles can build to the point of crushing us. Financial difficulties, disease or disability, strained relationships, impossible expectations—these stressors weigh us down and sap our strength. The psalmist’s prayer reveals four strategic steps we can take when we find ourselves similarly desperate.
Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Our first step is to admit our need for God. We may have been following our own agenda in pride and self-sufficiency, but our troubles have humbled us. We surrender our will to God and ask him to redirect our steps.
Rescue me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. The enemies we face may be external forces, such as religious or political persecution, loss of economic security, or personal attacks from people we know. We may also feel attacked from within by emotional and psychological enemies, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, greed, jealousy, or persistent memories of trauma or abuse. We ask God to protect us and fight for us against all our enemies, both external and internal.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. When enemies overwhelm us, they seem to have control over our lives. They crush our will and leave us feeling hopeless until we remember that our God is sovereign over all, including our enemies and our desperate circumstances. We reaffirm God’s divine authority over our lives and ask him to show us how to live as children of light.
Lead me forward on firm footing. Desperate situations can be paralyzing. We don’t know where to turn, what to do next, so we remain where we are, trapped and fearful. Like David, however, we can remember how our faithful God has rescued us before. We call upon our trust in God to help us step forward with confidence and integrity.
FATHER, when I am beset by enemies, either from without or from within, give me the grace I need to humble myself and seek your help. Redirect my confused and desperate heart to follow your ways and trust your promises. Give me eyes to see the path you have laid out for me and faith to take my first steps, confident that you will lead me forward on a firm footing.
Matthew 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 10:13
When troubles threaten, what keeps you from asking God for rescue?