“For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” Psalm 86:13
If you are a Christian, you should believe God’s steadfast love is great toward you. Do you? What about if someone was trying to kill you? Would you still say God’s steadfast love is great towards you? David did. The context of this Psalm is that people were trying to kill David (Ps. 86:14). David was in great distress and turmoil here. This was not a trivial matter whatsoever (Ps. 86:7). Listen to this though, David knew that even amidst enemies trying to kill him, God’s goodness on his life was still certain. He says, “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you” (Ps. 86:5). Would you tell God He is good during a time period when someone was trying to take your life? David did. Right in the heat of the enemy trying to find and kill him, David proclaimed the love and faithfulness of God:
O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
How could he do this? How could he say that God is loving and faithful amidst death threats? Well, David had a very good and right eternal perspective on life. He most likely considered the fact that death was inevitable, true deliverance of death is not deliverance before we die, but deliverance after we die. David realized that through Christ Jesus, he had such deliverance: “you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol” David said (and he said this right before he told God about the people trying to kill him).
Now, it is right and good to ask God to spare your life from an enemy trying to kill you as David did, “Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you – you are my God” (Ps. 86:2). But what is not ok is to demand that God would preserve your life from the enemy. Right prayer to God is not making demands, it’s making requests. David was not demanding to be preserved, he was requesting it. We see this modeled in Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane as well. Jesus prayed asking the Father to take away the cup that He was about to drink (the wrath of God), and requested that if there was any other way than the way Jesus was walking on currently that that road be taken instead, but it was a request (nevertheless, let Your will be done).
Do you know what God the Father said to Jesus? No. The Father’s answer to Christ was, no. Think about this, the greatest answer from God in prayer that led to the most glory for God and good for mankind was a no. Why do you agree that God the Father saying no to Jesus was good? It’s because you understand the outcome (Salvation and intimacy in God for all the elect and deliverance from death/hell). Remember that if God says no to something you pray for, then that is the right and best answer, and in time, wether here or eternity, you will see the reason why.
I hope by reading this post, you have come to see more that whatever God’s answer is to you in prayer, it is the right and best answer, and eventually the outcome will prove it to be true.
1. Confess and forsake any sin in your heart that lacks trusting in God’s goodness because of your circumstances.