Psalm 20:1-9 (ESV)
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
 May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
 May he grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
 May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
 Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
 They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
 O Lord, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.
When things are going well it is so easy to read the parts of Scripture that talk about the comfort of God and God being present in times of trouble. We can breeze over them and not be stopped in our tracks and not feel the impact of what is being communicated to us, what has been preserved for us by God.
But when we are in a pickle; when we are being opposed; when things are very dark and we cannot see light and a resolution to the crisis is just impossible to envision – and we turn to a piece of Scripture that says “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble” then it brings us up short. It is no longer just another piece of Scripture spouting off platitudes about a God who cares. It now is God visiting us and whispering in our ear and telling us that He is here and He knows and cares and is at work and even this thing, whatever it is, is not outside of all things that work together for your good.
The Psalm before us today drips with encouragement to discouraged saints. If this is you today, then read it and find great consolation from the God of heaven. If everything is just going fine right now then remember this Psalm. Life is full of trouble and if you are not in some right now, you can remember when you were and the last time will not be the very last time. This is not to depress or dishearten. It is simply the truth and the Scriptures recognize that such is the case.
The Bible does not hide the fact that life is hard. Those who think that commitment to Christ means stress free living have not been reading their Bibles in any truthful sense. “In this life you will have tribulation” said Jesus and no real saint will ever accuse Him of getting that one wrong.
But what are we to do when it comes? 1) Remember that such things are promised by the God who loves you and sent His Son to die for you so you could have eternal life. 2) Remember that Jesus suffered in every way just like us. We do not come to one who has not suffered. 3) Remember the texts such as the one before us today. There are hundreds of similar words of encouragement in the Scriptures and if you maintain a regular habit of studying the Scriptures you will encounter them when you need them. May I say that this is my own testimony? I have been in some very deep water and I have been tempted to think that it will overpower me. This Psalm says otherwise and this very Psalm has been used by God in unmistakable ways simply because it was the scheduled reading for the day. What a balm to the soul verses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 have been to me. (Oh verse 7! Thank you Lord)
How good God is. May you find the consoling counsels of Scripture to be a real help to you when you need them most. It is why God has given them to you. Find Him there. Find hope. Find comfort. And be amazed at how God ordered things so well that on this day you found that text which was just what you needed. What a God.