Where to Go in Time of Trouble - Psalm 61:2

Dr. Steve Viars October 9, 1990 Psalms 61:2

- we're studying favorite Bible verses

- we're coming down to the end of this series - we'll be

starting something new in the next couple of weeks, but in

these last few weeks I want to be sure we review the verses

we've learned so far

- let's review the way we did last week again tonight -

- sometimes I'll give the reference-you give the verse

-sometimes I'll give the verse, you give the reference:

-let me encourage you again to jot down the reference of the

ones you don't know, and work on them this week

- Zech. 4:6 -Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,

saith the Lord

- Phil. 1:21 - For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain

- Isa. 40:31 - They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their

strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they

shall run and not be weary. they shall walk and not faint

- Rom 8:28-29a - And we know that all things work together

for good to them who love God, to them who are the called

according to his purpose, for whom he did foreknow, them

he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of

His Son

- Prov. 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and

lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways

acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths

- Phil. 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say


- Gal. 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ and I no longer

live, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now

life in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who

loved me and gave himself for me

- Eph. 4:22-24 - That ye put off concerning the former manner

of life the old man which is corrupt according to the

deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your

mind, and that ye put on the new man which after God is

created in righteousness and true holiness

- John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his

only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should

not perish, but have everlasting life

- Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all

things, whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am

with you always, even unto the end of the age

- Isa. 26:3 - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind

is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee

- Phil. 2:5 - Let this mind be in you which was also in

Christ Jesus

- throughout this series we've been saying that we have

different favorites Bible verses for different reasons

- we said some were our favorites because of their simplicity

(John 3:16, Phil. 1:21)

- others are favorites because of the promises they contain

(Isa. 40:31, Isa. 26:3)

- some are favorites because they communicate very clearly

what we ought to be doing (Matt. 28:19-20)

- tonight's verse is a favorite for another reason - that is

- it tells us what to do in time of trouble

- read Psalm 61:2

- let's talk about what this verse tells us about handling

times of trouble

- first, let's see:

I. My Location In Times Of Trouble

David says "from the ends of the earth will I cry unto


- let's think about that phrase for a minute

- I'm sure you know some things about David's life, some

of us studied his life in quite a bit of detail a

couple of years ago

- INPUT - what are some events from David's life that

might cause him to make the statement - "I'm crying

unto unto from the end of the earth"

- being chased by Saul

- after sin with Bathsheba

- when Absalom was chasing him

- let me suggest three ways where you and I might "feel"

like we're at the end of the earth

A. Literal location

- many Bible scholars believe that this Psalm was

written when David's son Absalom led a revolt

against him and David had to flee into Mahanaim

- the point isn't that he was so far away from home

- in fact he wasn't that far away at all

- but he was away from home, he was away from his

normal surroundings

- he was also in a sense away from God

- you might remember that as they were fleeing,

the priests came out with the ark of the

covenant - David said, no - leave that here

- if God is pleased to bless me, I'll see both

this city and the tabernacle again

- so the point is - sometimes we're in a "from the

ends of the earth" situation because of the literal


- we're away from our natural surroundings and we're

in trouble

- have you even been in a situation like that when

you were trouble away from home?

- illus. - moving to New Jersey

- moved the day after Christmas, left in the

afternoon - planned to drive all night

- but we were anxious to get into our new apartment

and get everything fixed up and ready to go

- truck wasn't working well - had been in an accident

so the door didn't close properly, heater didn't

work - but we were thinking about that new


- started raining and snowing - but we pressed on

- arrived there the next afternoon, the apatment

manager looked surprised to see us

- took us to our apartment

- trash all over the place

- filthy, hadn't been cleaned

- final straw - walked in the bathroom - shower in

the apartment above had been leaking, ceiling had

fallen in - you could look right up into the

apartment above

- manager said - go ahead and move your things in -

we'll get these things fixed as soon as we can

- I remember looking over at Kris, I had brought her

out to this strange state, everything we owned was

in a truck...I can remember the feeling in the pit

of my stomach

- we're alone in a strange place, we don't have

have any place to live

- in trouble - "from the end of the earth will I cry unto


- sometimes that situation comes from:

B. Circumstances brought on by others

- that was true of David's situation as well

- he was in trouble because of what someone had done

to him

- when I talk about a "from the end of the earth

situation", maybe this is the category that comes

to your mind

- a situation that you had little or no control over,

just out of the blue someone decides to mistreat

you for no apparent reason

- all of a sudden your job's taken away

- your landlord decides to up the rent

- a family member spreads false gossip about you

- you're in trouble - you feel like you're "at the

end of the earth" -- because of circumstances

brought on by others

sometimes, its because of:

C. Circumstances brought on by our own sin

- you might be here tonight, and you'd say - I've been

in some of those "from the end of the earth

situations", but its because of sin I got involved in

- I can't blame it on somebody else

- the way of the transgressor is hard

- he that covers his sin shall not prosper

- I've been in situations, I'm in a situation, where I

feel like I'm at the end of the earth because of my

own sin

- Psalm 119:67 - Before I was afflicted, I went astray

- you might be here tonight and you'd say what a

counselee said to me recently - I've been sinning

against God and it feels like He's a million miles

away-because I've gone astray

- see, from the end of the earth will I cry unto thee

- in trouble, upset, my equilibrium has been


- sometimes that comes from my literal location

- I get in trouble and I'm away from home and

my regular support structure

- sometimes its because of circumstances brought on

by others

- sometimes its because of circumstances brought on

by myself

- but David would want us to see that regardless - you

don't have to stay there - you don't have to stay in

that condition

- there's a place to turn

- we'll look at that in a minute, but first let's quickly

look at:

II. My Condition

- David says, "From the end of the earth will I cry unto

thee, when my heart is overwhelmed"

A. Definition

- literally means, "be feeble, be faint"

B. Other uses

- some other uses of this word illustrate that point

1. Gen. 30:42

- perhaps you remember that passage

- thats where Jacob makes a deal with his uncle

Laban, that his pay will be all the livestock

born that is speckled

- Jacob worked it out where the strong animals

came, he would be sure they would conceive

- but when the feeble animals came, he would make

sure they didn't

- do you know which word in that story is

translated "overwhelmed" in Psalms 61:2

- the word "feeble" - or weak

another place is:

2. Lam. 2:11, 12, 19

- this word is used twice in this passage

"My heart is poured out on the earth, because of

the destruction of the duaghter of my people,

when little ones and infants faint in the streets

of the city. They say to their mothers "where is

grain and wine? As they faint like a wounded man"

- INPUT - what word do you think was used there

that is translated overwhelmed in our passage?


3. Jonah 2:7-8

- (after Jonah had been swallowed by the fish -

said "The wtaers compassed me about, even to the

soul. the depth closed me round about, the weeds

were wrapped about my head. I went down to the

bottoms of the mountains, the earth with its

bars, was around me forever, yet thou hast

brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my

God. When my soul fainted within me, I

remembered the Lord"

- David says - I recognized my location - "from the end

of the earth"

- I also recognized my condition, "when my heart is


- when its feeble, weak, faint

- we'd say it this way - when "I just can't take it


- and we've all been there, for thousands of different


- now, I need to ask you a very important question

- INPUT - what are some of the wrong things we might go

to or trust in or find refuge in during those

troubled times?

- drink - drugs

- sinful habits

- ungodly counsel

- Jeremiah said - "For my people have committed two

evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living

waters, and hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that

can hold no water"

- see, I must have the wisdom to know when I'm in that

location, and when I'm in that condition - but I also

have to have the wisdom to know where to go

- David says - let me tell you about that place

- from the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my

heart is overwhelmed - lead me to the rock that is

higher than I

- I've told you about my location, my condition, now let me

tell you about my destination (about where I go in those


III. My Destination In Times Of Trouble

- now obviously we believe we ought to be praying without


- we're not advocating a "only go to God in times of

trouble" attitude

- but we, like David, have had times we've gone the wrong

direction in times of trouble

- so he reminds us that, especially in those times - I

need to be led to the rock that is higher than I

- now that’s an unusual metaphor, especially for those of

us who live in Indiana

- we don't think of rocks as being up, or being higher

- we think of rocks as something you hit when you're

plowing, or when you're mowing the ground

- or something you mine out of the ground when you're

building a parking lot

- of course David is calling up a different metaphor


A. Meaning of the metaphor

- in those days, when you being pursued by someone,

or chased by someone, where would you want to get

to if you possibly could?

- you would want to get to a high place in the


INPUT (if time) - Why is that true?

- because that’s where you could have the right vision

of the enemy that was coming after you,

- you could be most protected from their attacks,

- you could defend yourself by the strength of that


- you could provide protection for those in your care

- David, drawing from that image, is saying – that’s

what our God is like

- like a rocky place that is higher than us

1. gives the right perspective of the battle and the


- down here, on the battlefield, my vision and

perspective can get skewed

- I start thinking - I can't take it, I'm going

to lose, the enemy's all around me

- but up there, with the Rock that is higher than


- my perspective clears

- I see the enemy as it really is

- maybe not small, but small compared to the


- I start thinking

- I can do all things throught Christ..

- There hath no temptation taken you...

- see, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock

that is higher than I so I can have the right


- lead me there so I can I also have:

2. gives protection from the attacks

- down here on the battlefield, I'm so vulnerable

and unprotected

- but up there - in the rocky place that is

higher than I, there's great protection

- With the songwriter we can say:

"He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock

That shadows a dry thirsty land

He hideth my life in the depths of His love

And covers me there with his hand (repeat)

3. provides strength because of the strategic


- before I felt weak and faint

- but now I'm in the right position

- I'm in the rock

- that strategic position provides strength

4. Provides protection for those under my care

- David had several hundred people with him in


- he was responsible for their care

- he knew his response to Absalom wouldn't just

affect him - it would affect everyone in his

care of course that in and of itself made the

situation more overwhelming

- but he had been led to the rock that was higher

than he was

- that position would provide protection not just

for him, but for everyone in his care

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video