August 1, 2014

Who is Going to Listen to Your Complaint?

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by Brian Shilhavy

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer. With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me. (Psalms 142:1-7)

Do you feel all alone today? Do people treat you unfairly? Do you feel like no one is interested in any of your problems and that there seems no way out of your difficult circumstances? Who can you complain to??

David was anointed the King of Israel and there he was sitting in a cave with King Saul bearing down on him ready to capture and kill him. This actually happened more than once! There are two stories recorded where he hid in a cave: the cave of Adullam recorded in 1 Samuel 22:1, and the cave in Engedi recorded in 1 Samuel 24:3 – it could have been one of these times or another time altogether not recorded in the Bible when David wrote this Psalm. Whatever your circumstances are today, they probably are not as dire as David’s were when he wrote this Psalm. Let’s take a look at how he approached this situation.

First, he was not afraid to complain before God. Who is going to listen to you when you complain? The Creator of the universe and the one who knit you together in your mother’s womb, and the one who loves you with an unfailing love is the one who is always available, and has plenty of time to listen to everything you have to say. Are you taking advantage of this incredible opportunity that you have right now, at this very moment, to talk to and pour out your soul to the one who knows you and loves you more than anyone else in the universe? He is so sad when he sees you struggling, and you don’t even take a moment of your day to come to him with your problems. David knew God’s love, and when everyone else abandoned him, he knew where to go with his complaints. And he went to God with his complaints often!!

So do you have a complaint today? There is only one person who will always listen to all your complaints. Take it to the Lord Jesus, the one currently ruling in the kingdom of light and who actually has the power to do something about it. If you take it to someone else, it probably won’t do any good anyway. Chances are they have their own problems to deal with and aren’t interested in your complaints. David shows us here that it is okay to complain to God. But remember that David ran away from Saul for probably more than 10 years before he received the throne of the kingdom, so David probably did a lot of complaining, and God’s answer was not always to take him out of his difficult situations. But he always gave him the strength to endure them, and he always showed him the way he should go.

Secondly, complain with faith. David had been in these situations before, and he had the promises of God to depend upon, even though they didn’t look like they were working at the moment. So as he complains to God and cries out for help, he does so in faith looking forward to the future: “The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.” So let’s follow David’s example and do the same today! Make your complaint to the Lord Jesus; ask him to show you the way out, and trust him to work out everything in his timing. You will then find the strength to endure ANYTHING that the enemy from the kingdom of darkness may attack you with today. You are not alone….

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