When Trials & Enemies are Crushing

Sad man holding head with hand

It may be a new year, but my trials, temptations, inadequacies, and enemies didn’t get the memo.  They are just as eager to grip and rip me apart as before.   For the past several weeks I have been battling with despair.  Incessant visions of the worst possible outcome in every situation have plagued my mind.  I have lost sleep, my temper, and so much readily available joy.   The worst part though has been the fact of my “knowing”.  I have known I am blessed. I have known the correct answers.  I have known despair is a lie. Yet, even with the new year this enemy has been so relentless! 

But during my personal devotions this morning, God spoke hope to me!  Psalm 18 is about how David called out to the Lord in his despair and the Lord saved him.  And the specific line that the Holy Spirit used to pierce and fill my heart with joy was Psalm 18:7.  It reads, “He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.”

I saw three encouraging facts in that verse.  The first is the description of the enemy.  It says the enemy is strong.  Do you know what that is?  That is honesty.  So often, to encourage myself or others, I try to play down the enemy’s strength.  But that is not encouraging.  That’s being naïve and setting others and myself up for shock, disillusionment, and defeat in battle.  This honest description of the enemy filled me with hope because it reminded me that David knew and, more importantly, God knows exactly how intense our struggles are.  They are strong.

The second encouraging fact is the description of me.  David said his enemies were “were too mighty for me.”  That is not a melodramatic exaggeration.  That’s fact. Goliath, King Saul, and Absalom were, in and of themselves, mightier than David!   Goliath was a superior warrior.  King Saul and Absalom had a greater military.  Also, David’s sexually immoral desire, fear of man, and despair were greater temptations than he could handle.  That is encouraging for two reasons.  One, it reminds me that I am not the only one “with struggles too mighty for me”.  Two it reminds me that God sees the real me.  He knows my weakness and just what I need, like he did with David. 

The third encouraging fact is God’s Rescue.  David was weak, his enemies were too strong, and yet God won.  David looked to God and God rescued him.  And at the end of the Psalm David looks back on it all and says, “For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations and sing to your name.”  God is a proven rescuer!  I can look to him and be 100% confident that He will rescue me and fill me with songs of praise.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I know this verse hasn’t erased the battle.  But it has filled me with real hope in God!  Today, I encourage you to dive into God’s Word, hear God speak, and be filled with real hope in God. 

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Pastor John Wright

Pastor John is married to his beautiful wife Kimberly and has 5 young children. John holds a Master’s of Theology (ThM.) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has been serving in full-time pastoral ministry for 10+ years. John is passionate about declaring the truth of the Gospel and leading people in their knowledge, understanding and application of God's Word.