Our Friend in Times of Trouble
"O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head." (Psalm 3:1-3)
Have you noticed how some of the psalms have a title to them? Psalm 3, from which today’s verses come, is one of those: "A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom." So few words; but such a story behind them! For David had had to flee from his kingdom when his very own son, Absalom, led a coup against him – a coup that looked like it might succeed. There were indeed "many foes" against him (v. 1), and they were trying to discourage him by saying he could forget any ideas of God coming to his rescue (v. 2). All in all, a nasty situation.
The details of this story in 2 Samuel 15-18 show us that this was a really difficult – even depressing – time for David. Yet nevertheless he turned in prayer to God and expressed his confidence in Him once again. David understood that speaking out what God has shown us of Himself in the past is a key to our faith being strengthened at such times; and in Psalm 3 he goes on to speak of Who God is, what He has done, and how He has answered and blessed in the past. All of this strengthened him and helped him declare in faith that, "I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side" (v. 6). Lifting our eyes from our circumstances to our God is always a key to experiencing God’s shield around us.
And then, having done all this, he boldly calls out, "Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!" (v. 7). God loves such bold praying from us; and the more we take time to get to know our heavenly friend in times of peace, the more bold we can be with Him in times of trouble.
If you are facing trouble at this time, do what David did: remember God’s blessings in the past – and then be bold in praying about the present and the future!
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont