Read Psalm 28.

David’s family was torn apart by rape, murder, rebellion, and revolution. He’d failed as a father, in part because of his polygamous marriages and in part because he was too busy with matters of government and war. He was powerful, he was successful, he was the king—but he was eventually on the run, fleeing a son who sought to take his life.

Exiled from his family and his people, hiding from his son Absalom, a grief-stricken King David penned a heartfelt prayer, a plea for mercy and justice.

David’s world was falling apart—but God was his Rock.

David’s family was collapsing—but God was his Rock.

David’s government was crumbling—but God was his Rock.

David’s throne had been stolen from him—but God was his Rock.

David’s subjects had turned against him—but God was his Rock.

The prayer of Psalm 28 expresses the heart’s cry of everyone who has found themselves in a desperate situation. It is a comforting passage to meditate on when you have been slandered, mistreated, and misunderstood by others. It’s a plea for God to be your protector, vindicator, and righteous judge.

When your world is falling apart all around you, how do you respond? Do you run to God, or do you blame Him? When you find yourself facing the consequences of your own wrong choices, do you cry out to the Rock of Ages, or do you blame God for not protecting you from the results of your actions?

David understood God. He prayed, “Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help” (v. 2). A cry for mercy is the farthest thing imaginable from the demand, “You owe me.”

David prayed with his arms raised, putting his mind, spirit, and body into his prayer. He was not just saying a prayer; he was struggling in prayer. Hard work, struggle, suffering, wrestling with God—these difficult experiences are often the prerequisites to victory.

No matter how people may fail you or mistreat you, God is your fortress. His power never diminishes. His love for you never changes. His support for you never wavers. His mercy toward you never fades. He is your Rock.

Prayer: Lord, You are my Rock. I will trust in You when circumstances threaten to overwhelm me, remembering Your promises are sure and everlasting. I will rest in Your mercy toward me and hope in Your coming Kingdom. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (Psalm 28:7).

*This devotional adapted from Life-Changing Prayers by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission.

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon God Has the Answer to Every Problem You Face, Part 6: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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