A Heart That Hopes OLS — Week Four

I am in the place of deep waters.

I wonder if you know this place?

It’s a place described by David in Psalm 18 as a time of great need, distress, and brokenness.

I don’t believe it is any accident that we are studying this psalm right now. Whatever season you are in, God has something to say to you through these words of David.

The picture David paints is one where he is drowning under the pressure of trouble. His distress is so great that he calls upon the Lord for help and deliverance.

What came to my mind as we studied Week Four – Hope When You Are Discouraged, is David’s example in deep waters. He shows us what to do when we are in the worst distress we can possibly know.

We need to cry out to God for help.

Deep waters are such a time of desperation that we can’t even presume to tell God what He should do to help. It’s a loud, surrendered call to our God for strength, help, and deliverance any way He chooses.

“Help God. Your servant is drowning in these deep waters.”

The beauty of Psalm 18 is that we see the result of a cry for help. In vivid language, we don’t see a simple answer to prayer. No. Instead, we see the passion of a God who hears our voice in heaven, and reaches down through the sky and yanks us out of the deep waters. But He does not leave us dangling. He pulls us out of the rushing river waters and brings us “into a broad place” (Psalm 18:19). He accomplishes a real, true rescue.

Friend, the greatest thing you can do right now in your time of distress is cry out to your God for help. Do it moment by moment, day after day, and watch what your God will do. I don’t know how He’ll do it. But He promises.

There were some beautiful promises this week – I had some favorites:

  • The Lord is my stay (my support and the One I can lean on) — Psalm 18:18
  • The Lord lights my lamp and illumines my darkness — Psalm 18:28
  • The Word of the Lord is tried (I can count on it) — Psalm 18:30
  • The Lord is my rock — Psalm 18:46
  • The Lord will rescue me — Psalm 18:48

We had traveled to Northern New Mexico in the heat of the summer for a photo shoot to capture myPhotoWalk images for myPhotoWalk — Quiet Time Moments, my newly released full color daily devotional book series. The sun beat down, the heat rose in waves from the earth. But I remember standing along the bank of the Rio Grande River Gorge watching the cool clean water rush past me with rapid force. The sound was so loud and the flow of the river was so fast that I stepped back and stood at a distance to make sure I was on solid ground while I took the shots.

I believe the mighty Rio Grande River is a great visual for us of the ferocity of deep waters in a trial. More than anything, we need solid ground. And when we cry out to our God, He pulls us out of the deep waters and sets us on the firm foundation of Himself — the rock.

I loved these words by Spurgeon this week —

Though you have no income to meet your needs and are brought to poverty’s door, nonetheless, bless the Lord. His mighty providence cannot fail so long as one of His children needs to be provided for. Your song, while you are in distress, will be sweet music to God’s ear. Go in the name of God. Meet your difficulties calmly and fairly. Do not have any plans or tricks, just commit yourself to God. This is the way you may confidently find deliverance. If you can only trust and praise God, you will see marvelous things that will utterly astonish you.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon in Beside Still Waters

And so, dear friend, if you find yourself in deep waters, cry out to God like David did, commit yourself to the care of your Lord, and thank Him in advance for His deliverance. Your heart will be filled with hope — Holding On with Patient Expectation!

About Our Study

   Download the A Heart That Hopes In God — 2014–2015 Online Bible Study Schedule

Your Assignment

Your assignment this next week is to study Week 5, Days 1-7, Hope When You Need Deliverance — Psalm 34. Please feel free to come back here throughout the week to read comments and respond. In our fifth week of study on hope we are going to live in Psalm 34 and discover encouraging promises for all who need deliverance. These promises are so powerful that you can’t help but experience a new and deeper hope in your Lord. At the end of Week Five, you may also want to enjoy the companion Week Five message for A Heart That Hopes In God (Viewer Guide, pp147-148) — The Banquet Hall Of The Lord – Digital M4V Video or The Banquet Hall Of The Lord – Digital MP3 Audio. I will meet you back here with a new post and discussion question on Saturday, February 13, 2016.

I encourage you to use the words of this prayer from my dear friend, Kelly Wysard, to draw near to God as we study God’s Word together —

Precious Lord and Savior, we approach the throne room of grace to give You our devotion and adoration. To tell of our desire to walk in obedience and trust to the One True God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of Heaven and Earth. Creator of all things, and Master of our souls.

May we seek You and serve You with exceeding sweet delight knowing that You alone are drawing us near and making us complete in You. As we open the Word of God and meditate on Your instruction and cling to Your promises, may we become more like You. May we hang on Your every Word for dear life! May Your Word be musical instruction to our ears. May we sing praises treasuring Your glorious revelation one moment at a time on pilgrim’s way. May we have the mind of Christ, dear Father.

Now may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). May this hope be as an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19) as we persevere by the encouragement of the Scripture (Romans 15:4).

We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, Amen.

A Prayer For You by Kelly Wysard

And now, dear friend, let’s share together what God is teaching us in the Comments section of this post as we respond to the Sola Scriptura questions.

♥ God bless you as you continue this great adventure of knowing Him!


Sola Scriptura

What is the greatest challenge to your faith when you are in a deep water trial? How does Psalm 18 encourage you when you are in deep waters? What did you learn from David’s example? What was the most important truth you learned about God this week? What was your favorite quote, insight, or verse this week in your study?
Please comment.

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myPhotoWalk Devotional

… I have poured out my soul before the Lord.
1 Samuel 1:15

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Pouring Out Your Soul
  •     Order Custom myPhotoWalk Prints @ myPhotoWalk — SmugMug.com
  • Description: Standing on the edge of the Rio Grande River Gorge, High Road To Taos, Taos, New Mexico, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 07/12/15
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 24-120mm, FL 50mm, ISO 100, f/16, AEB.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot along the Rio Grande River Gorge, High Road To Taos, Taos, New Mexico, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Photomatix Pro, Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, Nik Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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What does a person do when the worst thing imaginable happens, their life is profoundly altered, and no hope is in sight? Catherine Martin cites numerous real-life accounts of people in crisis, and reveals their source of strength: the truth of God’s Word. A Heart That Hopes in God will take you deep into some of the choice Psalms of comfort, inspiring the kind of hope that will set your heart aflame with love for the Lord.
Patty Kennedy, National Women’s Department, Assemblies of God

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