Have You Ever Felt Low Down

PSALM 116: 16 – 19

The Psalmist wasn’t merely being poetic when he wrote: “The pains of death encompassed me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I found trouble and sorrow.” (Psalm 116: 3)

This was a loyal devotee of the Lord. It is one of many examples of God’s people having problems. In life, a follower of Christ has just as many problems as a non-follower. The difference is to be found in the resources available with which to deal with them.

Have you ever been there?  Most of us have.

The Psalmist said, “I was brought low…, my eyes were full of tears, and my feet were stumbling.” (Vss. 6 & 8).

The Psalmist explained what he did: “Then I called upon the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!’” (vs. 4)

He asked the Lord to supply his need (Vs. 1) and the Lord graciously did. He has done that for all of us many times. We tend to forget those hours of extremity when the Lord came to our aid. The Psalmist didn’t. As a result he wrote: “I will pay my vows to the Lord.” (Vss. 14 & 18). His vows were:

“I will call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116: 2c)

Don’t presume on God’s grace or wait for a time of crisis to get acquainted with Him. Cultivate your relationship in time alone with Him in prayer.

“I will Walk before the Lord.” (Psalm 116: 9a)

The term “walk” most often refers to one’s life-style. In that frame of reference the Psalmist is saying, “My lifestyle is going to be one that pleases you.”

Colossians 2:6 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”  How did you receive Jesus? By faith. How are you to walk in Him?  By faith. Do you want to please the Lord? “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The Biblical word for faith includes in its meaning dependency and reliance. It involves an act of the will. Major Ian Thomas describes a life of faith in what he refers to as the “threefold interlock.” It consists of our love for God, resulting in our dependence upon God, consequencing in our obedience to God.

“I will take the cup of salvation.” (Psalm 116: 13a)

“The cup of salvation” has an interpretation and an application.

The interpretation has its origin in the practice of lifting a cup of praise to the Lord and pouring it out on the sacrifice made on the altar. It was a symbolic act of gratitude performed in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah.  It depicted the giving of self in sacrifice to the Lord. Hence, “Out of gratitude I will completely give myself to the Lord.”

There is an application. This is a reference to accepting whatever circumstance comes.

During the developing years of California, a miner was leading his donkey along a rain-soaked dirt road in the little settlement of Sonora. The street was steep and as he stumped his toe he nearly fell. Reaching down to remove the rock on which he nearly tripped he was amazed at what the rain had unearthed. It was a lump of gold weighing nearly twenty-five pounds. The storm had exposed it and his stumbling had called his attention to it. 

If we found a 25 pound gold nugget, we would delight to thank the Lord. If it required a storm, would we praise Him for the stone during the storm? If it necessitated us falling to be blessed, would we thank Him at the moment?

We are to thank Him “for all His benefits…”