Psalm 18:1-2: “I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Reading the footnote of Psalm 18: “For the director of music; Of David the servant of the Lord”, over time King David had become a prolific song writer. He captured what moved him. Working with the director of music he made his poetry accessible to the public.

King David was a man devoted to God. Throughout his lifetime he continued to write very candidly about his experiences and turned them into poetry. He wrote down his prayers even in the worst time of his life; and on the flip side he also captured his times of triumph and success. Whether passing through a deep valley or arriving on an illustrious mountaintop, King David shared all these moments with the Lord.

Psalm 18 represents such a mountaintop moment. Another footnote of this particular psalm paints the picture:

“He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.”

King Saul’s leadership led the nation of Israel into a crisis. David served in King Saul’s army at the time, and his continued success in battle eventually brought on King Saul’s deadly jealousy. As a result, a great portion of David’s life was the life of a refugee. Eventually, King Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in battle and this chapter of his life closed. When David was elected the new king of Israel, he celebrated with the Lord.

In his moment of triumph he took the time to remember that everything he had came from the Lord. His victory was the result of many steps of faith that had led him to this place. On his way he needed protection from his enemies, deliverance in battle and a Rock to hold on to. He could not have reached the mountaintop without the Lord. David was acutely aware of the gift he had been given, and he turned his gratitude into a prayer that we are privileged to read today (Psalm 18:2):

“My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

It is good to remember the gifts we have been given. Gratitude is humility’s sister and opens our eyes to the wonder of God’s love while inspiring our love for Him.

Psalm 63:6: “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.”

A few years back, I had a near-death experience after an unsuccessful second heart surgery. For a while I felt my life was drawing to a close. Naturally, this had a profound impact on my psyche. Thinking I would soon be gone I wanted to leave a good impression; so outwardly I gave it my best shot, though in all reality I was wrapping up my life to get my affairs in order.

Meanwhile, I have made it through yet another heart surgery, and here I am, still kicking. Eventually, I had to shift gears, because my life was not about to end any time soon. I had to give my life another chance.

I did not want to admit to it at the time, but I felt hopeless when my health went south. In the book of Proverbs we find a brief description of the effects of hopelessness (Proverbs 13:12):

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

It is a medical reality that lack of hope eventually catches up with us and affects us physically. Sometimes our struggles go unnoticed, and that is very unfortunate. Suicide rates are up – a sobering indicator that we live in a lonely society.

How can we help a hopeless person? Pep talk in a depressed state may not be the best approach. Self-help groups promote positive thinking, and that is perhaps a good start, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is the answer to our deepest needs. Ultimately He is the One who can fix what is broken inside of us. I believe, in our frailties we mostly depend on God’s mercies to get us through a valley and beyond.

We all need the Lord. Turning to Him for encouragement is a wise move. God is not stuck in a mold and He can get us out of ours; He is able to help us see things differently. Regardless of how much or how little lifetime we have left, we do have things working for us; God is able to open our eyes so we can become aware of these things.

The Lord walks with us on difficult roads – and I cannot stress this often enough – His presence is the best gift He can give us in most confusing times.

When we feel lost, we need to remember the Lord.