“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”–Psalm 56:3-4 NIV
If you struggle with feelings of fear, you are not alone. Most of us do, at one time or another. The words of this psalm, penned by David after he’d been captured by the Philistines –wait–isn’t this the same bunch whose champion, a nine-foot-tall giant–fell to the shepherd boy, David?
He’s down, but not out. He’ll be back. He knows they can’t harm him–at least, he’s pretty sure–because he’s the Lord’s anointed. But that doesn’t stop the temporary feeling of fear.
Notice I said temporary.
Before the actual physical circumstances change, David will talk and sing and praise his way out of the stronghold of fear in his life. Breakthrough. This is an important key. Sometimes you have to take a stand. Sometimes you have to talk your way out of a bad spot, if only in your own mind or spirit–convince yourself–remind yourself of who you are and Who’s you are.
There’s a great example of this type of praise tactic in Psalm 31:
“Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.”
In the beginning of that Psalm (verse 1-5), David gave himself and his circumstances to the will of his Father in Heaven. He was hoping to live, and not die, as the rest of this Psalm shows.
From the cross, Jesus quoted part of verse 5: “Into your hands I commit my spirit;” –He didn’t finish the quote, perhaps because He knew His fate was different. Jesus gave himself up to the will of His Father in Heaven, trusting in His ultimate deliverance. He had a greater outcome in his sights.
But David prayed, “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.”
Ultimately, we have to trust that God will deliver us, one way or the other. Sometimes, it’s the only answer.