Tears and Trust
God in heaven, today I join my voice with all Your people in praise of Your lordship.
Read Psalm 56:1-13
 For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“We are created to praise God in trials and out of them. But it is not easy to praise God in trials; and it certainly is not natural to us” (Derek Prime). The Psalms reveal the struggles and how to praise God in difficulties.
The situation presupposed by this psalm’s title is explained in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. It was extremely dangerous for David to flee alone to Gath, the home town of Goliath whom he had killed! Many of the verbs in vs. 1,2,5 and 6 describe his mortal danger. Have we known such desperate fears and danger? This psalm’s radiant sequel is found in an alphabet of praise in Psalm 34, but from today’s reading we can take courage from the way in which David fearlessly confronts his fears: “When I am afraid … I … am not afraid” (3,4)! How does he do this?
Words are flying around in today’s psalm; David is subject to slanderous attacks; his own words are twisted; and sometimes he just sobs, knowing that God notices and catches his tears in his bottle and his book (8). David strengthens his trust by praising God’s words and promises. We were made for joy; we were made for a life saturated and inflamed and encased in joy. Praise creates space for faith to grow; it digs and rakes and weeds the seedbed of the soul. Praise is the compass to help us get our bearings, even and especially when the sky is dark and the scenery is unfamiliar. Praise can sometimes be a contentious, divisive act, a dismissal of every rival claim. We praise God’s Word and words when, instead of focusing on our fears, our anxiety, our problems, our weakness, our multitudinous disabilities, we turn what he has said into personal affirmations: “I thank You for Your peace which passes understanding; I thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love; I thank You, Jesus, that You are the same yesterday, today and forever.” Thus praise becomes the consummation of trust and its appropriate expression.
Think of many of the good things in life which you enjoy and then ask, “What have I done to deserve this?” Thank God for his grace to you.
Loving Father, in my struggles I want to move from despair to praise. Teach me from Your Word and re-energize me by Your Spirit so I can know Your joy.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.