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 three 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