A miserable person: one who is profoundly unhappy or in great misfortune; despicable or vile person. That is how Merriam-Webster defines “wretch.”
Does this describe anyone you know? Does it describe how you feel about yourself right now? If not…praise the Lord! But at one time or another, most of us have faced a similar level of despair and self-reflection…and so did David, as revealed in his prayer in Psalm 86.
In Psalm 86 of The Message translation of the Bible, David begins his prayer this way, “Bend an ear, God; answer me. I’m one miserable wretch!” In subsequent verses, he claims his reliance on God from morning to night. He seeks God’s mercy, a happy life, forgiveness, and favor. It is an urgent kind of prayer that begins with transparency and an acknowledgement of his current condition.
David then turns a corner to praise God for all His goodness, mercy, and faithfulness. In other words, despite the desperate struggle David is experiencing, he continues to exalt God as the only source capable of delivering him in his time of need. His faith is being tested, stretched, and confirmed.
The intensity and layering of David’s prayer to plead, praise, and declare God’s sovereignty in Psalm 86, is seemingly brought about by his own acknowledgment of who he really is, as well as what he is NOT capable of in his own strength.
Has God ever used an intense struggle in your life to draw you closer to Himself? Is the only time you really grow in faith and love for Adonai (Sovereign God), when you are desperate for His intervention and rescue? If so, you are not alone. In fact, God has encouragement for us all, as we approach some of the valleys in our lives.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4, NKJV).
The Lord will not leave us in our wretched condition. In fact, He uses opportunities like those (through patience) to refine our belief in Him and increase our faith. It is in desperate circumstances (perceived or real) that we are tested in our trials to put Him first and forego our own fleshly strategies of self-rescue.
Jesus said it best in John 4:14, “…but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Lord, I pray blessing over my brothers and sisters who are reading these words. I ask that You will increase their faith and bring peace in the lives of those who are walking through trials. Lord, bless them with patience and hope, as they declare Your sovereignty over their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.