The Psalmist here cries out to the Lord in his distress. Tired and weary of living in a strange land among strangers who only talked only of war, he had just had it! He had “battle fatigue.” “I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.” (Psalm 120:1) That is astonishing. When you pray, the God who created all things, the God who is bigger than the universe, hears you. He pays attention to you. Never take that for granted. God hears you when you pray.

Ever see a pig wallow in mud? They love to roll in it and then it goes everywhere, the fence, other pigs—whatever they touch ends up muddy too. I am still learning that while venting to a friend might feel good at the moment, it solves nothing and can cause more problems. Usually, if I have honestly talked to God about what is weighing on me, the venting becomes unnecessary. Why, because when we put a problem or lament in God’s lap, we can “release” it and trust that God will work it out according to His perfect plan.

Charles Spurgeon said, “It is of little use to appeal to our fellows on the matter of slander, for the more we stir in it the more it spreads; it is of no avail to appeal to the honor of the slanderers, for they have none, and the most piteous demands for justice will only increase their malignity and encourage them to fresh insult.”  In other words, the more you put yourself in the muck the harder it will be to get out of it, and the more it will spread.

The psalmist is wise in taking his distress to the Lord. He was honest in his lament; he didn’t hold back at all how he felt. He knew that the “battle” belonged to the Lord. I love these words of a song titled the same.

The power of darkness comes in like a flood

The battle belongs to the Lord

He’s raised up a standard, the power of His blood

The battle belongs to the Lord

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear

The battle belongs to the Lord

Take courage my friend, your redemption is near

The battle belongs to the Lord.

Depending on the situation, God might want you to talk something over with a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor, but only after you have taken it to him in prayer. That is completely different from venting complaints or spreading muck (slander).

So, the question for me and for you . . . do we want to be stuck and spreading muck, or do we want to release our problems to the Creator of the universe who loves us and promises to walk with us through every trial and tribulation?

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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