How do I respond?

Bleh. This is the seventh week of my Walk Through the Psalms series, and all I can think when I read Psalm 7 is


David is in trouble. Again. He asks God to bring justice to his enemies. Again.

Where are the psalms about deer and water and beauty? I know they are in this book somewhere. All these psalms about evil and vengeance and justice are making my eyes gloss over.

How did David get himself into so much trouble? I mean, seriously, did he ever get to sit on his throne? So far, the Psalms make it look like he spent all his time running and hiding and suffering.

I can’t stay here in this “bleh.”

For one, because that can’t be the content of a blog post. But, even more importantly, because that can’t be the content of my heart.

The Bible can be difficult to read. It is written by ancient people. There are culture and language differences to muddle through. But still, it is written for us. There is a purpose to Psalm 7, just as there is a purpose to every Psalm in this book.

The Psalms is a collection of prayers. It is a book that shows us something about the human experience. And what it looks like to connect that experience with our powerful and loving God.

And, so, though I see a consistency in David being in trouble that makes me want to skip to the next Psalm, I also see consistency in David’s response to trouble that causes me to pause.

He does not throw a pity party. He does not turn to his military strength. He does not turn to his wealth. He does not turn to his own strategies.

He turns to God.

In just this one psalm, Psalm 7, David calls to God again and again and again,

“O Lord my God, O Lord my God, O Lord, my God, O Lord, O Most High, O righteous God.”

And again and again, David lays his heart before God. He boldly makes requests, according to his need and according to God’s character,

“Save and deliver me, decree justice, judge the peoples, bring to an end the violence of the wicked, and make the righteous secure.”

And again and again, even before those requests are answered, David affirms

I take refuge in you, my shield is God Most High, I will give thanks to the Lord, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”

These psalms make me wonder about my response to trouble.

Sure, I pray about it. But is that the first thing I do? And is it the thing I do most relentlessly?

Probably not.

I whine. I ask for help. I cry “poor me.” I avoid. I strategize. I change course. And maybe just throw in a prayer or two for good measure.

And even when I do pray, am I as secure in God’s character as David is?

Do I, before my prayer is answered, give thanks to the Lord? Do I affirm that He is good, even if things are not done in my way or in my timing?

Probably not.

So maybe there is a reason for all these psalms that turn to God in times of trouble. Maybe it gives me practice. Maybe I can only pray this way, truly pray this way, when big trouble strikes, if it is a habit. If it is something I have read, over and over again. If it is something I have prayed for others, over and over again. If it is something I have done for the small hardships of my life, over and over again.

Maybe then, when I have made it a practice to repeatedly turn to God, repeatedly pour out my requests, and repeatedly affirm His character before those requests are answered, maybe then, when the big troubles come to my life, I will be able to affirm, with David,

“O Lord my God, I take refuge in you.”- Psalm 7:1

How do you respond when trouble comes? Are you able to pray like David?