I pour out my complaint before Him; that I may give thanks to Your name.
Psalm 142 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Prayer for Help in Trouble.
I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord;
I make supplication with my voice to the Lord.
2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare my trouble before Him.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see;
For there is no one who regards me There is no escape for me;
No one cares for my soul.
5 I cried out to You, O Lord;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
6 “Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.
7 “Bring my soul out of prison,
So that I may give thanks to Your name;
The righteous will surround me,
For You will deal bountifully with me.”
In Matthew 7:7-11 Jesus says: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” It is okay to ask God for what we need; even to complain to Him about our trouble, as the psalmist does in today’s text. Look though at how the psalmist frames his cry and complaint. He says: I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. In Psalm 37:4 he says: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. There is a big difference in complaining to God or complaining about Him. When things are going well, when we have a need for provision, protection or deliverance; do we question and grumble to God? Or do we ask believing? Do we seek knowing that through God we will find what is good? James 4:3-5 says: You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? We cannot expect to receive what is good from God, if we have made ourselves His enemy, by desiring the things of the world. God will not satisfy our greed, our lusts and desires, but if we will delight in Him, our desires will be like His. We will want and receive of His goodness. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The psalmist says: When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way
where I walk. In Psalm 23:1-4 the psalmist says: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. The path God knows and leads us on is a path of righteousness. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says: I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. In the end the psalmist says: So that I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me. Ultimately that is what is most important, that whatever we ask we ask from a place and a heart of thanksgiving; that we give thanks to the name of God. The psalmist has the expectation that God will deal bountifully with him, but he is thankful to the name of the Lord. He is thankful for who God is, not just what He gives.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, may I have the heart of the psalmist. May I be one who delights in You. May I seek the things You desire to give me and
may I follow the path of righteousness You lead me on. May my only complaint be that I don’t have all that You desire for me. I give thanks for all that You have given, but most of all I give thanks to Your name. Amen.