Are You Desperate?

Psalm 142:6

Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

Have you ever felt like you were in a desperate situation? Maybe you are feeling a little desperate even now. Desperation moves deeper than discouragement and can skew your thinking. Asking if you are desperate may be like asking most people reading this if they are hungry. We do not necessarily understand the word hungry, since there are levels of being hungry. When you keep returning to the refrigerator hoping something new will appear to satisfy your appetite, it is not yet hungry. When you did not eat all day because of your schedule, it is not yet hungry. Being hungry, is more like the pictures you would see on a “feed the children” commercial. You know the ones with the skin and bones children, with flies on their face. That may be a true example of hungry. When God looks at us in our churches, does he see pews full of nicely dressed people with smiles? No, when God looks at us in our churches, I think He sees something that looks more like the “feed the children” ads. That is because God sees us spiritually. He sees us for what we really are and not as we appear. A people starving for God’s word, yet not realizing what it is to be hungry.

Your desperation may drive you in the opposite direction from the answer. It might be though, that if you look at your desperate situation from God’s perspective, it would draw you into a hunger for His word and His fellowship. That is entirely your choice. While David was hiding from Saul and the thousands of hand selected, finest soldiers in all of Israel, he cried out to God.

Psalm 142:5-7

I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

The word prison he used here, is a metaphor for trouble and distress. Are you in a prison right now? When you are in such a prison, it is hard to remember that God is your portion (inheritance). 

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

Your prison may seem desperate, but there is always another perspective to see it from. God had a greater call for David than hiding in a cave to survive. God has a greater call and purpose for you than surviving your current crisis.

When you are desperate it is not uncommon to feel alone, as though even your God has abandoned you. It is God’s desire for us all to be united with Christ, but we must be willing to relinquish our entire self unto Him.

When we think of sin, we may think of it like hunger or desperation. We may set it aside into degrees of severity. God does not look upon it that way. Our pride of being able to accomplish anything, including walk out of our prison, without His help is just as much a sin. Our unwillingness to release all that we think we own and hold affections for unto Him, is just as much sinning. Not being willing to serve where He has ordained, no matter how meager it may seem, is just as much a sin.

One of my favorite stories about desperation brings my own desperation into a new perspective for me.

2 Kings 6:24-31

Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels. As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!” The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.” When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and there, underneath, he had sackcloth on his body. He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

What a story of desperate people that has lost hope and the sense of direction. Have you ever been desperate enough to eat a donkey’s head, (and pay a great price for it) or to eat a child? No, you have not! Perhaps we do not really understand what desperate is.  Even the King himself could not help the people who came to him. Essentially, his response to the woman was if your God cannot help you, what could I do? The king did not consider the nation had turned its back on God under his own leadership, but placed the blame on the prophet of God.

As you cry out to God, do not think He cannot, or is not willing to hear you. Perhaps the despair you feel is a call to draw near to Him. When God sees you, perhaps He is looking at you like a child in the feed the children ad. Maybe He is calling you near through your circumstances, that you may be well fed, and that He may be glorified. Is there this thing in your life right now, that if God does not take control, you will fail? Give Him control of everything. Your government cannot deliver you and you cannot rescue yourself. It is God alone with the power to open the doors to your prison. Relinquish all to Him today, for His grace is sufficient for your desperation.

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