Have you ever thought, “I’m so far from God”? You’ve failed God (in your own opinion) and are wondering if God loves you.
Or the opposite thought, “God, why can’t I find you?” I’ve thought this in difficult moments while walking my path of God’s will. I’ve said, “Okay, God, I’m here because of You. Now, where are you?”
Both questions above describe the absence of God’s presence, and presence can seem distant when you are obedient or disobedient.
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed (Psalm 61:2).
King David, the author of Psalm 61, was experiencing distance from God. He wasn’t literally at the ends of the earth, but he felt that way in his relationship with Jesus.
What did David do? What should we do when God doesn’t seem close? Psalm 61 is written for us when God seems distant.
First: David didn’t complain, and he didn’t get mad at God. He had one simple request …
O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! (v. 1)
I’ve learned to be direct in moments of frustration. I don’t need many words of deliberation. A simple Help! is good. In difficulty, the fewer words, the better.
Second: Find a safe place!
Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge (v. 2).
Often my frustrations result from a place of danger – sometimes self-imposed and sometimes others-imposed.
Let me illustrate self-imposed. I can’t expect deliverance from health problems if I am unwilling to exercise and eat a better diet. Let me illustrate others-imposed. Opposition, both human and spiritual, will stand against God’s calling for us.
In both cases, go to the safe place of prayer and stay until you have peace and confidence about your deliverance. God gives grace to both self-imposed and others-imposed problems.
Third: Remember your promises.
We are God’s children of promise. When David felt distant from God, He reminded his Father of the promises that God had made to him.
For you have heard my vows, O God. You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name (v. 5).
We have promises of calling along with the peace, power, and provision needed for victory. The promises of God remain when we mess up and when others resist our efforts.
King David concludes Psalm 61 by proclaiming …
Add many years to my life (v. 6, OGV).
May we reign in our calling under God’s protection forever. May Your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over us (v. 7, OGV).
Amen! Or, as David writes …
I will sing praises to your name forever (v. 8, NLT).
After Psalm 61, God was no longer distant from David.
He will draw close to us as well.