It was there in Psalms yesterday, right when I needed to read it, on a morning when I felt pressed down by a secret, invisible weight that threatened to flatten me.
This I know, that God is for me.
Do I know this as David did? I wonder. David didn’t pen those words while in his palace, king of all he surveyed. He wrote them right after he had been seized by the Philistines, long-time enemies of his people.
David cried out to God in desperation, for his life was in danger. He was hated, pursued, attacked, trampled, oppressed. Yet even in his fear for his life, David chose trust. He chose to believe in God’s faithfulness to all His promises.
Psalm 56 shows a constant contrast between the apparent hopelessness of David’s situation and his unwavering faith in the reality of who God is.
My enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
In the midst of trial, David has the audacity to praise— to praise the word of the Lord, all God’s promises to David. Those promises– that David would be king of Israel, that God would always be with him– must have seemed pretty tenuous as he waited in captivity among the Philistines. But David refused to give into doubt and fear. He knew that no harm could come to him, because his God was trustworthy.
Beyond that, David believed that God cared for him– cared for every tear, every sleepless night. He believed that God would answer his prayers and show him His rich grace and mercy.
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
This faith of David’s in spite of his circumstances, in spite of the appearance of hopelessness, in spite of his feelings of abandonment and loneliness in the midst of his enemies, this is an audacious, wild faith. This is the faith I am called to practice– a faith that praises God for the deliverance that hasn’t even come yet, because it believes so very strongly that it will come because God has promised it.
I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
David was just so sure that God was for him. He trusted the word of the Lord to him. He refused to look at his circumstances as a hindrance to God’s ability to keep His promises.
And what has God promised me?
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
The unceasing presence of Christ–
I am with you always, to the end of the age.
[I pray that you may know] what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Access to God as a beloved child–
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Welcome before God’s throne in times of need–
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
A God with a plan–
And we know that for those who love God all things work togetherforgood, for those who are called according to his purpose.
and the ability to make it happen–
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
This is just skimming the surface of the rich inheritance I am promised as a child of God. And when I consider this, when I determine to praise His Word as David did, to trust God and not fear, then I am living in faith that My God is for me.
And I can rejoice in trials, knowing that God is going to do something amazing in them.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Steadfastness. Maturity. Sufficiency. All found in trials and troubles. And through it all, the unfailing love of my God.
This I know: That my God is for me.