How often do we go through our walk with the Lord, thinking that there is no place where we feel like our enemies would not gladly engulf us? It seems as if every time we turn around, a new hurdle, hindrance, or attack comes against us. In some instances, even what we say is twisted and used against us. We may seek help frequently from those we know around us, but it does little to ward off the trials we encounter daily. In the midst of our tears, we find ourselves calling out to God, unsure what our next step should be.
King David, one of the greatest leaders ever of a kingdom, struggled with the same sort of problems we often encounter today.
This same David single-handedly defeated the mighty giant Goliath—the powerful strongman of the same Philistines that David came up against when he wrote Psalm fifty-six.
Every day, he faced these enemies. In verse two he said, “Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.”
Later in this psalm David said, “Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul” (Psalm 56:5,6).
If this was the whole thrust of this psalm, we could easily declare his situation utterly hopeless, with no solution in sight.
Thankfully, he did not indulge himself in worrying about despair and sufferings, as seen in the rest of this passage: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me…When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise His word: in the Lord will I praise His word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee” (Psalm 56:3,4,9-12).
David’s attitude through all of this is clear: he trusted in God and gave Him praise. We cannot go wrong when we turn our situation over to God and let Him handle it.
Remember, it is not our faith that bring results; it is His faithfulness. The psalmist declares “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds” (Psalms 36:5) and “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Psalm 119:90).
Notice what he also said in Psalm fifty-six: “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (verse 1). When we are fearful of those around us, or in the situation coming at us, then we have slipped out of trusting in God and have started focusing on our self. See what happened to Peter when Jesus called for him to step out and walk on the water. “…He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:29-31).
When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. Yet, even then, he still cried out to Him to help him—and Jesus did!
Peter could have floundered around in the rough water trying to save himself, or called on the others in the boat to help him. Instead, he put his trust in the Lord again to deliver him from drowning.
Three times in this short psalm David stated that he put his trust in the Lord. Four times he gave God praise. The more God repeats something in His Word, the more that we need to heed it.
Even though the Philistines were coming against him, David placed his trust in the Lord and His Word. His situation was desperate, but he remained confident that God would take care of Him, and praised Him before the victory even happened.
If Israel’s mightiest leader could cry out to God and trust in Him, so can we, as believers in Jesus Christ—the son of David, and the Son of God!
The victory Jesus won through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross became our victory too. By putting our faith and trust in His finished work, we no longer need to be worried about what our enemies want to do to us.
Jesus already defeated the enemy—all we need to do is to rest in His victory, confident in Him that He will save us. David said, “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalm 56:9 emphasis added).
Even the Apostle Paul affirmed in the book of Romans, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 10:31 emphasis added).
Therefore, when problems mount against you, or the enemy is close at hand, do not run away or hide in fear. Cry out to the Lord and believe in Him. Give Him praise for who He is and what He is going to do. Do not doubt or let your faith in Him waver. Put your trust in Him alone and let Him take care of the circumstances. Keep David’s words in mind, “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
[Image credit: Gustave Doré/public domain]