NEVER WITHOUT HOPE
Glorious One, I want to make my days and years count, and to advance your kingdom here on earth. Guide me by your Spirit.
Read PSALM 3
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”[b]
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
While under arrest, Paul wrote to the Philippians of a peace that ‘surpasses all understanding’.1 Have you ever experienced such God-given peace amid times of trouble?
Today’s psalm was written when King David was fleeing his rebellious subjects.2 Not only did many of his own people turn against him, but these rebels were led by his own son, Absalom. How devastating to be betrayed by your own flesh and blood! Things appeared utterly hopeless for David. Absalom was leading an army of thousands against him and the opinion of the masses was that God had abandoned David (v 2).
It would have been easy for him to give up on God in the face of all these terrible events. Although God had made him king, everything seemed now to be falling to pieces. When times get tough, we are often tempted to question how much God really cares for us and to doubt whether the Lord will help us. We can learn, though, from how David coped in this situation. First, he remembered that God had always been there to strengthen him and raise him up in the past: the Lord had always been his shield and lifted up his head, protecting and delivering him (v 3). This knowledge stirs him on to pray boldly for deliverance, being honest and open about exactly what he needs from God.
While he waits for this deliverance – which we know did eventually come, for Absalom’s schemes failed and the rebellion was crushed – David received strength from God to cope. Despite being hunted by so many enemies who wanted to take his life, David was so free of fear, he was able to sleep and be renewed in his strength (vs 5,6). This encourages us that even when difficulties drag on, all is not lost and we are never alone: God can give us the strength we need to cope.
Are any troubles testing your faith currently? Reflect on how God has helped you through difficulties in the past and ask for God’s help with what you are facing now.
Teach me Lord, to count my days that I may make wise choices. Make straight the crooked places in my life and I offer my heartfelt praise to you.
1 Phil 4:7, NRSV 2 See 2 Sam 15–18
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