Uncommon Love, pt. 3


Psalm 86:1-13

BIG IDEA: God’s uncommon love is still present in difficult times…

A few days ago, I filed my taxes. I do not like preparing taxes, or filing taxes, or paying taxes. As I sent my forms off electronically, I thought to myself, “I wish I was tax-exempt.”

Tax-exempt. Free from any taxes. But you know what they say, the only sure thing in life is death and taxes. Maybe you, like me, wish you were not only from taxation from the government but perhaps you wish you were free from anything taxing at all in this world. It would be nice, wouldn’t it? To live a life free from taxes and troubles would be terrific. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, the only thing sure in this world is taxes and trouble.

Here’s the Big Idea for the message today? God’s uncommon love is still present in difficult times. What do we do? How do we respond to troubling times? King David has an answer for us today, found in Psalm 86:1-13. I have three main points today, and we will move quickly through the first two and spend a bit more time on the third.


  1. Cast your Problem upon the Lord (Psalm 86:1-7)
    • In the first six verses of the text chosen for today, King David makes six requests. We do not know exactly when David wrote these words. We don’t know the exact details. But the text makes it very clear, David was in trouble.
    • Look at these seven requests.
      1. Bow down to hear me (1): “God, come closer so that you can hear me. I’m really in trouble.”
      2. Preserve my life (2): “God, save me!”
      3. Save your servant (2): “I need your help!”
      4. Be merciful to me (3): “I don’t deserve getting out of this mess, but I believe in your mercy.”
      5. Rejoice my soul (4): “Lord, let me laugh again.”
      6. Give ear to my prayer (6): “Lord, don’t turn a deaf ear to me.”
    • When you have a problem, pray. I could probably end the sermon right there. When you have a problem, pray!
    • When you have a situation, immerse yourself in supplication. When you have trouble, take it to Jesus in prayer. Cast your problem on the Lord because your problem is no problem to God; it is merely a place of powerful possibilities.
    • Our greatest needs should drive us to greater prayer to the great God who alone can bring a great victory.
    • David made six requests, but He also gave seven reasons why he needed help.
      1. I am poor and needy (1)
      2. I am holy (2)
      3. You are my God (2)
      4. I trust in you (2)
      5. I cry to you all day (3)
      6. To you, I lift my soul (4)
      7. You are good and ready to forgive (5)
      8. You are abundant in mercy (5)
      9. You will answer me (7)
    • I firmly believe that David was not reminding God of Who God is! God needs no reminders! His character had been established. David was not reminding God of Who God is; David was reminding himself of Who God is.
    • As David reminded himself of God’s character, He was able to cast his problem on God. Friend, the weight you feel today is overwhelming in your hands but weightless in God’s. Let go, and let God do what only God can do.
  2. Confess your Praise to the Lord.
    1. Having cast his problem upon the Lord, David confessed His praise to the Lord.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,  nor are there any works like yours.

9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

  • His praise to the Lord allowed David to shift his perspective from His problems to the problem-solver.

“So much of what goes on around us seems to make little sense. I’m thinking of the mysteries of life, how one person gets cancer and dies while another person is spared cancer and yet another person gets the same cancer, goes through chemotherapy and survives. Why does one child live and another die? Why is one family hit with a seemingly endless series of trials? Why did this husband decide to walk away from his marriage? Why did the car wreck leave this man crippled but the man next to him walks away unscathed? The list goes on and on and on. God knows what he’s doing even when we don’t have a clue! We barely get a glimmer of all that God is doing in us and through us and to us and for us. We’re like little kids peering through a keyhole. At best we see a sliver of what lies on the other side of the door. We often mistake that “sliver” for the whole spectrum of reality.”


  1. Cling to the Presence of the Lord
    • David’s problems were dividing his heart. “Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11). Literally, “God, put me back together because I am split in a million directions.”
    • What was the reason for this request, “give me an undivided heart?” David wanted to cling to the presence of the Lord so that he could worship God again. When your heart is weighed down with the problems of this world, it is difficult to worship in the presence of God.
    • What can divide our hearts?
      1. The worries of this world can divide our hearts.
        • It is easy to be captured by the worries of this world.
        • It is easy to be captivated by the worries of this world.
        • It is easy to be consumed by the worries of this world.
        • It is impossible to worry when you are truly worshipping God because when you are worshipping God, He is put in the proper place and all the cares of this world are cast aside.
      2. The deceitfulness of wealth can divide your heart.
        • Jesus said you cannot love God and the things of this world. You cannot love two masters. Either you will love one and hate the other, or you will despise one and adore the other. You cannot love God and mammon.
        • That’s why Jesus said elsewhere, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be added to you.” When your heart is divided, you do not fully understand your true identity.


  1. The Uncommon Love of God is present in your troubles. He hasn’t left you or abandoned you.
  2. The Uncommon Love of God should result in praise despite your troubles. Praise now, because God has already solved your problem.
  3. The Uncommon Love of God brings His presence to give you strength in your troubles. It is not your strength that matters, but rather His. You don’t have to hold on, you just have to be held. Nothing can defeat the mighty hand of God.


A few months ago, I spent a couple of nights in a single-man tent at Fort Knox while training with the Army. During the night, a tremendous storm, not unlike the one we experienced last night, came upon us. Not only was I buffeted by torrential rain, but there was also terrible wind. I remember at one point thinking that I was going to be blown away in my tent.

For a moment, I wondered, “Did I place the stakes firmly in the ground? Did I secure the tent tightly to the ground?” I am still here today. I did not fly away. Why? Because I attached my tent to something that could not be moved. Was I blown? Yes. Was I buffeted? Yes. But I remained safe because I was anchored to the rock.

Until the new heaven and new earth come, there will be trouble. Life will be taxing and trying. Some days will be downright terrifying. But cast your problems upon the Lord. Confess your praise to the Lord. Cling to the presence of the Lord, and you will find an anchor that holds despite the storm.


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