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When Trouble Comes 

Do you know what David did when trouble came into his life?

Psalm 86

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 14, In the year of our Lord, 2013

Scripture Reader and Reading: Kadin Lopez – First Samuel 17.40–47

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – Songs praising God



  1. What would you do if 
    1. something tried to destroy your source of income,
    2. a great enemy challenged you,
    3. someone tried to kill you repeatedly,
    4. your congregation was divided and fighting one another,
    5. you have constant health problems,
    6. you give in to temptation, or
    7. your own people want to eliminate you?
      1. All these things happened to one man, and
      2. I want to show you another incident in his trouble-filled life.
  2. The Amalekites attacked Ziklag while the men fought a war. 
    1. The Amalekites
      1. burned Ziklag with fire,
      2. took the women and children captive, and
      3. looted the whole town.
    2. When the men returned they saw what had happened, and
      1. they lifted up their voices and
      2. wept until they had no more power to weep.
        1. The Amalekites took the two wives of the commander.
        2. However, his soldiers were so outraged that they wanted to kill him.
    3. Then the Bible shows what the commander did,

      6 Now [their leader] was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But [this man] strengthened himself in the Lord his God (1Sa 30.6).

  3. The man was David, who always strengthened himself in the Lord. 
    1. He wrote Psalm 86,
    2. showing how he lived his life when troubles came.
  4. Psalm 86 shows a man desperate, 
    1. pleading for God’s help, but
    2. also declaring what he was going to do concerning the Lord.


  1. Psalm 86.1–7 – When Trouble Comes: Call upon the Lord

    1 Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
    For I am poor and needy.
    2 Preserve my life,
    For I am holy;
    You are my God;
    Save Your servant who trusts in You!
    3 Be merciful to me, O Lord,
    For I cry to You all day long.
    4 Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
    For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
    5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
    And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
    6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    And attend to the voice of my supplications.
    7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
    For You will answer me.
    (Psa 86.1–7)

    1. David said that he was holy (v. 2), but
      1. in verse 5, David confessed
        1. the Lord’s readiness to forgive, and
        2. that He is abundant in mercy.
      2. David was not sinless, but
        1. the point of his life was holiness, and
        2. when he failed in that, the Lord forgave David.
    2. In the first seven verses, David made seven requests:
      1. v. 1 – Bow down to hear me
      2. v. 2 – Preserve my life
      3. v. 2 – Save your servant
      4. v. 3 – Be merciful to me
      5. v. 4 – Rejoice my soul
      6. v. 6 – Give ear to my prayer
      7. v. 6 – Attend to my voice of supplications
    3. David gave the Lord plenty of reasons to fulfill these requests.
      1. v. 1 – I am poor and needy
      2. v. 2 – I am holy
      3. v. 2 – You are my God
      4. v. 2 – I trust in you
      5. v. 3 – I cry to You all day long
      6. v. 4 – To You I lift up my soul
      7. v. 5 – You are good and ready to forgive
      8. v. 5 – You are abundant in mercy
      9. v. 7 – You will answer me
  2. Psalm 86.8–10 – When Trouble Comes: Confess the Lord

    8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
    Nor are there any works like Your works.
    9 All nations whom You have made
    Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
    And shall glorify Your name.
    10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
    You alone are God.
    (Psa 86.8–10)

    1. When trouble came into the life of David,
      1. he did not fixate on himself, but
      2. he thought of God,
        1. who He is and
        2. what He has done.
    2. Therefore, David confessed that all nations,
      1. not just David and his nation of Israel, but
      2. all who read these words, because
        1. the Lord wants everyone to read these words,
        2. will go and
          1. worship before the Lord and
          2. glorify His name, for
            1. He is great,
            2. He does wondrous things, and
            3. He alone is God.
    3. Why is it important to confess the Lord when trouble comes?
      1. The story of Job shows that there is a battle for us.
        1. Satan believes that trouble will cause us to denounce God, whereas,
        2. God wants you to remain loyal to Him when trouble comes.
      2. We have a tendency to see trouble as having nothing to do with God.
        1. Some people believe God causes the trouble.
        2. Some people believe God would never do such a thing.
          1. Either way, Satan uses your trouble to get you to turn against God.
          2. What will you do?
  3. Psalm 86.11 – When Trouble Comes: Learn from the Lord

    11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
    I will walk in Your truth;
    Unite my heart to fear Your name.
    (Psa 86.11)

    1. David knew that the Lord has the answers of life.
      1. David had purposed to walk in the Lord’s truth, but
      2. David needed to know what to do.
        1. What does walking in the Lord’s truth include?
        2. What does the Lord’s truth dictate for that particular situation?
    2. The problem confronting David divided his heart, putting it into disarray.
      1. He knew that was not good, because
        1. if his heart remained in pieces,
        2. he would not fear the Lord’s name.
      2. Therefore, David requested a united heart from the Lord.
  4. Psalm 86.12, 13 – When Trouble Comes: Praise the Lord

    12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
    And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
    13 For great is Your mercy toward me,
    And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
    (Psa 86.12, 13)

    1. While in trouble, this man of God purposed to praise God with all his heart.
      1. Why is that so important during trouble, problems, and suffering?
      2. Remember why Satan went after Job.
        1. Satan wanted Job to curse God, and
        2. David knew that troubles can make some people do that.
          1. Not David, because he loved God.
          2. David would not have cursed his dad during trouble.
            1. Why then curse God during trouble?
            2. No, David would keep on doing what he had always done,
              1. whether during prosperity or adversity,
              2. he would praise God.
      3. People want to know why God allows suffering.
        1. He wants to know and He wants us to see
        2. whether we will still love Him, believe Him, and serve Him,
          1. even when we have nothing.
          2. Or do we love Him because of what He gives us and then
            1. when those things disappear,
            2. we curse Him.
      4. Satan believed he knew why Job feared God,

        9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1.9–11).

        1. Do you love God,
          1. do you fear Him,
          2. do you believe Him,
          3. do you praise Him,
            1. even if there is nothing in it for you?
        2. Why do you want God in your life?
          1. Is it for the good things He gives, or
          2. is it simply for Him?
    2. Look carefully at verse 13 and you will see what moved David to praise God.
      1. David saw God’s love for him,
      2. showing mercy in times past,
        1. when of course David knew that he was unworthy of that mercy.
        2. He discovered the kind of God the Lord is.
          1. He saw the Lord for what He is, and
          2. David praised Him for it.
  5. Psalm 86.14, 15 – When Trouble Comes: Show It to the Lord

    14 O God, the proud have risen against me,
    And a mob of violent men have sought my life,
    And have not set You before them.
    15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
    Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
    (Psa 86.14, 15)

    1. David got back to his problem.
      1. He did not allow his trouble to keep him from seeing the Lord, and
      2. he did not allow his view of the Lord to make think troubles do not come.
    2. The proud had arisen against David, and
      1. they were violent men, seeking his life, and
      2. they were the kind of people who did not set the Lord before their eyes.
        1. For that reason, they were proud and
        2. sought to destroy a godly man like David.
    3. Whereas, David knew the Lord was just the opposite,
      1. full of compassion,
      2. gracious,
      3. longsuffering, and
      4. abundant in two qualities that David’s troublemakers obviously lacked:
        1. Mercy and
        2. truth.
  6. Psalm 86.16, 17 – When Trouble Comes: Seek the Lord

    16 Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!
    Give Your strength to Your servant,
    And save the son of Your maidservant.
    17 Show me a sign for good,
    That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
    Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
    (Psa 86.16, 17)

    1. Since the Lord is a God of mercy,
      1. David pled for mercy.
      2. This lion-killer, this bear-killer, this giant-killer
        1. was weak, and needed strength from the Lord.
        2. David praised the Lord and not himself, for
          1. he was God’s servant and
          2. the son of God’s maidservant.
    2. While David specified what he needed from the Lord,
      1. David also left things open,
      2. asking the Lord to show a sign for good,
        1. that the Lord was going to do good to David, and
        2. David wanted his enemies to see it, and then
          1. they would be ashamed for opposing him, because
          2. God was with David.
            1. You do not want to oppose a man or woman
            2. whom God favors!
    3. David’s enemies would see
      1. that the Lord helped David, and
      2. that the Lord comforted David.


  1. According to Psalm 86, the Lord, Jehovah, Yahweh, is 
    1. the One to whom we should pray,
    2. our God,
    3. the One in whom we should trust,
    4. merciful,
    5. good,
    6. forgiving,
    7. above all gods,
    8. worthy of worship,
    9. great,
    10. doer of wondrous things,
    11. God alone,
    12. our Teacher,
    13. the One we should glorify,
    14. our Deliverer,
    15. full of compassion,
    16. gracious,
    17. longsuffering,
    18. abundant in truth,
    19. the One who strengthens us,
    20. our Savior,
    21. our help, and
    22. our comfort.
      1. David spoke of the mercy of God five times in this psalm.
      2. David needed mercy, and
        1. he knew right where to go, because
        2. whoever was troubling him certainly was not showing mercy.
  2. Yes, God can be angry, but 
    1. He would much rather show mercy, otherwise,
    2. we would not be here, because
      1. He would have ended everything a long time ago, whereas
      2. He has given us
        1. His message and
        2. His Son,
          1. showing His willingness to pour out His mercy.
          2. Do you need His mercy?
  3. Surely you have struggled or are struggling with something, and 
    1. you desire God’s mercy, because
    2. obviously your situation is not going to show it to you.
      1. Perhaps you have prayed to God, but
      2. remember what David said in verse 3,
        1. that he had cried to God all day long, and
        2. David’s many other references to prayer in the first seven verses
          1. shows that he had been praying relentlessly, but
          2. God had His plan and would operate according to it.
            1. Nevertheless, David put his total confidence,
            2. not in himself or anything or anyone else, but
              1. only in the Lord God,
              2. the One who runs the universe.
  4. Why then struggle alone? 
    1. Here is this great and grand God who created the heavens and the Earth,
    2. waiting for you to show Him
      1. that you believe He is there,
      2. that you believe He runs all things,
      3. that you believe He can help you.
  5. David needed forgiveness. 
    1. Do you need forgiveness?
    2. Do you know what to do?
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