Praying in trouble

Why is it that when something is going wrong it is hard to believe God will save me? I know I am not alone in this, I see it written all over Psalm 116.

It is not that the author has no faith, he knows the Lord has shown mercy in the past and responds with love. In v1,

‘I love the Lord for he heard my voice.’

However in v3&4

‘The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; … Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘Lord, save me!’’

Here anguish overcomes him. I too find anguish separates me from the Lord leaving me feeling trapped. Though he overcomes and calls to the Lord, he still needs to reassure his soul that the Lord will intervene:

7 ‘Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.’

The surprise comes in v12-13 where he summons courage to pray, doing so not out of confidence but as an expression of thanks for all the times the Lord has saved him.

‘12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.’

So, when anxiety separates me from God, it is good to call on Him for salvation out of thanks for His past grace.


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