Like Psalm 34, which we highlighted yesterday, Psalm 56 for today was also written when the Philistines had seized David in Gath. And just like yesterday’s psalm, this one starts with David begging God for help.
Then, in verses 3 and 4, David says this, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
I see a pattern here that David liked to repeat:
He acknowledged his fear, “When I am afraid.” Fear is a natural reaction when in danger – either real or perceived.
David then made a deliberate decision to trust God. This is not a normal reaction, it is an intentional decision, flying in the face of the natural fear.
David praised God for delivering him – before he had been delivered. (In this case, David praised God’s word, but often, he just praised God.) When David did this, he was stepping out on faith, believing God would answer his prayers.
Finally, in the assurance God would help him, David banished his fear, “I will not be afraid.”. Notice he chose to not fear what mortal man could do to him.
This reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:28, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
This is a pattern I have also tried to follow in my own life. Many times, I have cried out to God, confessing my fear. I have then made a deliberate decision to trust that whatever God has for me is best, whether I know it (or like it) or not. Then praise God for his promise that all things work together for my good – because I love God. Finally, with God’s help, I let Him lift my burden off my shoulders, whether it is fear, or whatever else it is.
With the fears swirling around now, whether Covid-19, or unemployment, or difficulty finding what you want at the grocery store, or … You have a choice. You can succumb to fear, or you can follow David’s example.
I challenge you to try this pattern with whatever makes you fearful today. Then you can say, like David wrote in yesterday’s reading from Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” And from today’s reading in 56:11, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”