Trouble and Prayer

little boy prayingExposition of Psalm 50:15
“Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”

MATTHEW HENRY ON PSALM 50:15

And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.

In the day of distress we must address ourselves to God by faithful and fervent prayer (v. 15): Call upon me in the day of trouble, and not upon any other god.

Our troubles, though we see them coming from Gods hand, must drive us to him, and not drive us from him. We must thus acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves entirely to him, and so give him glory. This is a cheaper, easier, readier way of seeking his favour than by a peace-offering, and yet more acceptable.

When he, in answer to our prayers, delivers us, as he has promised to do in such way and time as he shall think fit, we must glorify him, not only by a grateful mention of his favour, but by living to his praise. Thus must we keep up our communion with God, meeting him with our prayers when he afflicts us and with our praises when he delivers us.

SPURGEON AND OTHERS ON PSALM 50:15

And call upon me in the day of trouble.
Oh blessed verse! Is this then true sacrifice? Is it an offering to ask alms of heaven? It is even so. The King himself so regards it. For herein is faith manifested, herein is love proved, for in the hour of peril we fly to those we love. It seems a small think to pray to God when we are distressed, yet is it a more acceptable worship than the mere heartless presentation of bullocks and he goats.

This is a voice from the throne, and how full of mercy it is! It is very tempestuous round about Jehovah, and yet what soft drops of mercy’s rain drop from the bosom of the storm! Who would not offer such sacrifices? Troubled one, haste to present it now! Who shall say that Old Testament saints did not know the gospel? Its very spirit and essence breathes like frankincense all around this holy Psalm.

I will deliver thee. The reality of thy sacrifice of prayer shall be seen in its answer. Whether the smoke of burning bulls be sweet to me or no, certainly thy humble prayer shall be, and I will prove it so by my gracious reply to thy supplication.

This promise is very large, and may refer both to temporal and eternal deliverances; faith can turn it every way, like the sword of the cherubim.

And thou shalt glorify me. Thy prayer will honour me, and thy grateful perception of my answering mercy will also glorify me. The goats and bullocks would prove a failure, but the true sacrifice never could. The calves of the stall might be a vain oblation, but not the calves of sincere lips.

Thus we see what is true ritual. Here we read inspired rubrics. Spiritual worship is the great, the essential matter; all else without it is rather provoking than pleasing to God. As helps to the soul, outward offerings were precious, but when men went not beyond them, even their hallowed things were profaned in the view of heaven.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 15. Call upon me, etc. Prayer is like the ring which Queen Elizabeth gave to the Earl of Essex, bidding him if he were in any distress send that ring to her, and she would help him. God commandeth his people if they be in any perplexity to send this ring to him: Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. George Swinnock.

Verse 15. Call upon me in the day of trouble, etc. Who will scrape to a keeper for a piece of venison who may have free access to the master of the game to ask and have? Hanker not after other helpers, rely on him only, fully trusting him in the use of such means as he prescribes and affords. God is jealous, will have no co-rival, nor allow thee (in this case) two strings to thy bow. He who worketh all in all must be unto thee all in all; of, through, and to whom are all things, to him be all praise for ever. Romans 11:36. George Gipps, in “A Sermon preached (before God, and from him) to the Honourable House of Commons, 1645.”

Verse 15. Call upon me in the day of trouble, etc. The Lord hath promised his children supply of all good things, yet they must use the means of impetration; by prayer. He feed the young ravens when they call upon him. Psalms 147:9. He feeds the young ravens, but first they call upon him. God withholds from them that ask not, lest he should give to them that desire not. (Augustine.) David was confident that by God’s power he should spring over a wall; yet not without putting his own strength and agility to it. Those things we pray for, we must work for. (Augustine.) The carter in Isidore, when his cart was overthrown, would needs have his god Hercules come down from heaven, to help him up with it; but whilst he forbore to set his own shoulder to it, his cart lay still. Abraham was as rich as any of our aldermen, David as valiant as any of our gentlemen, Solomon as wise as any of our deepest naturians, Susanna as fair as any of our painted pieces. Yet none of them thought that their riches, valour, policy, beauty, or excellent parts could save them; but they stirred the sparks of grace, and bestirred themselves in pious work. And this is our means, if our meaning be to be saved. Thomas Adams.

Help from Without
by C. H. Spurgeon

“Yea, I will help thee”
Isaiah 41:10

The LORD says, “I will help thee.” Strength within is supplemented by help without. God can raise us up allies in our warfare if so it seems good in His sight; and even if He does not send us human assistance, He Himself will be at our side, and this is better still. “Our August Ally” is better than legions of mortal helpers.

His help is timely: He is a very present help in time of trouble. His help is very wise: He knows how to give each man help meet and fit for him. His help is most effectual, though vain is the help of man. His help is more than help, for He bears all the burden and supplies all the need. “The LORD is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me.”

Because He has already been our help, we feel confidence in Him for the present and the future. Our prayer is, “LORD, be thou my helper”; our experience is, “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities”; our expectation is, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, whence cometh my help”; and our song soon will be, “Thou, LORD, hast holden me.”

TROUBLE CAST ON HIM
by C. H. Spurgeon

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” –1 Peter 5:7

It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel–“HE careth for me.” Christian! do not dishonor religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to

“Lie passive in God’s hands, And know no will but His.”

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses.

There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of His family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart.

Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same.

If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.

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