“… Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” (Psalm 4:1)
In scripture, the word, “distress,” refers to being in a siege situation. When the enemy besieges us he seeks to wear us out and wear us down. He would deplete our store of inner resources until we finally give up and give in to whatever terms he has laid down. He may be calling us to hatred, bitterness, anger or revenge; he may be telling us to throw in the towel and surrender to adultery, fornication or uncleanness; he may want us to succumb to fear, despair, or unbelief. He is willing to settle in for the long haul and keep up the pressure until we cave. He would have us wake up every morning and see no let up in sight. He would have us go to sleep each night in sorrow knowing he is encamped about the walls of our heart.
But God would have us scorn the dire picture around us, looking past the enemy that would devour us to the Savior who can keep us. He would call our hearts into a closer communion with Him than ever before. He would have us be glad and rejoice in His mercy because He has considered our trouble and is very aware of the adversity our soul is facing. Despite how bleak it looks or hopeless it feels, He has not shut us up into the hand of the enemy. To the contrary, it is these very distresses that He works together for good. It is in the most pressurized of situations that our Savior wants to come through for us, sustaining us by His grace and strength.
If we are only relying on our own resources to withstand the siege we will certainly run out soon enough; but if our faith is in Christ, all of our need to stand faithful in the midst of the test will be supplied. If you are in Christ you have access to His favor where you rejoice in hope of the glory of God. You can rejoice in the distresses upon you knowing that these events will only be the vehicle God uses to set your feet in a large room. How amazing God is to enlarge our heart when it is in a vise grip! And who knows, when the enemy sees his plan backfiring, and realizes that you are not on the verge of defeat, but actually getting stronger and stronger in God, he may just decide to pack up and go away for awhile.