Special Encouragement from God’s Word Day 7
When You Feel Overwhelmed by Troubles
By Major Beth Desplancke
Territorial Women’s Ministries Program Secretary
Read Psalm 55.
When you feel overwhelmed by troubles what do you do? Do you get angry? Do you shut down? Do you try to comfort yourself with food or shopping? Do you try to hide like an ostrich who puts its head in the sand and pretend the problems are not there? David was feeling that way when he wrote Psalm 55. Read v. 1-5.
What do you do when you are in that kind of situation? Hiding our heads in the sand doesn’t solve the problems. David gives us three practical tools to use when we can’t take it anymore and are overwhelmed by troubles.
1. Flee to the Lord.
In verses 6-8, David desires to run away. But just running away won’t do it. He is running to God. In times of overwhelming trouble flee to the Lord as soon as possible. David realizes the only rest he can find in the situation is in the Lord.
Too often we flee to the Lord as the absolute last resort. We try everything else first. But David realized where his shelter was, and verse 8 says he hurries to his place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm. Where is David’s shelter – it is in the Lord. We know this because of some of his other writings
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.Psalm 9:9
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him! Psalm 64:10
2. Fellowship with the Lord.
In verses 13-14 David is feeling disconnected with God. Remember a big part of their worship in Old Testament times was being able to physically go to the Temple and worship. David was on the run and being hunted by his enemies, so he couldn’t just walk into the Temple to worship God. He is feeling disconnected. He remembers times when his fellowship with the Lord was closer.
So often when life gets overwhelming, our time of fellowship with the Lord is shortened or downright neglected. Instead of praying or reading our Bible, we stress and fume and try to deal with the problems that are weighing us down. Sometimes when life gets overwhelming we feel like God has left us. But He hasn’t. Sometimes we blame God and are angry at Him for allowing these bad things to happen, and we separate or distance ourselves from God.
But this is the last thing we should do. These are the times we should draw close to the Lord. And that is what David does in verses 16-19. He is spending time in fellowship with God through prayer – talking with his heavenly Father. During times of trouble we need to fellowship with the Lord, despite how we feel.
3. Fling your burdens to the Lord.
So often the reason we feel overwhelmed by troubles is because we decide to carry all of our burdens ourselves. We try to solve our problems on our own. God never intended for us to deal with our burdens on our own. He gives us a beautiful invitation:
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
He wants to carry our burdens for us. The word burden means something that is carried. The word burdened means to weigh down, to load or overload. Even small things if they are carried for a long time get heavy and load us down. Since the burden is too heavy for you, give it to the Lord to carry.
The word cast literally means “to fling or hurl.” It requires and denotes action and effort. This verse is telling us throw or problems to Him.
Part of flinging our burden to the Lord, is leaving it there. God wants to do all the carrying. So often we pray and say God I’m giving you this problem, but the minute we are done praying we are carrying the burden all over again.
Once we have cast our burdens upon the Lord, He assumes full responsibility for the burdens for us, and He promises to sustain us and to uphold us! He will never let the righteous be shaken!
Part of flinging our burden to the Lord is trust – we are trusting Him to do the carrying and work in that situation. At the conclusion of this psalm David declares:
…But as for me, I trust in you. Verse 23b
This psalm reminds me of what Paul writes in the book of Philippians:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
We fling our burdens to the Lord through prayer. God has His hand ready to catch whatever we throw His way.
When troubles around you feel overwhelming the best thing to do is to flee to the Lord as your refuge and safety, continue to fellowship with Him despite your feelings, and fling your burdens onto the Lord.
Download the PRINTABLE VERSION of this devotion.