In fear or confidence, seek God
June 13, 2011
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

Some time ago, an older woman in our congregation who is young at heart shared with me how much she is enjoying reading the Bible through in a year in a chronological manner.

She is using a reading plan that attempts to place the Bible books in the order that the events occurred in history. She particularly told me that what has really struck a chord with her is being able to read the Psalm(s) that is/are attributed to the events of the lives of the Old Testament believers.

It has made such people as Shepherd Boy and King David more real to her as she has come to know him through his experiences and testimonies.

For example, the 57th Psalm that we are considering in this article has been connected to the time in David’s life when he was hiding in a cave from King Saul, who was seeking to take his life.

What he wrote gives us insight into his heart and mind; in times of fear and in times of confidence.

As we read through this Psalm, we are able to see that David experienced uncertainty and fear of the future in his life as he fled from the attacks of King Saul, which were brought about as a result of Saul’s jealousy of David’s popularity with the people.

He cried out, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee, yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities over past.” (pass by)

He then goes on to say “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. (avenge in favor of, do good, show favor) and “He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.”

The experiences of the mountains and the valleys of our lives are seen in this Psalm, but in and through these experiences we are encouraged to call upon our God, to trust Him as we go through even the valleys of life, to praise Him for the deliverance that is coming and to rejoice in His mercy and truth at all times. May we have the assurance today that David likened to being “in the shadow of Thy wings.”

Many of us have favorite hymns or songs, which are meaningful to us because they are linked to times of crisis in our life. We may enjoy many hymns or songs, but the special ones that have ministered to us (and continue to do so) are the ones that the Lord has used to reveal Himself to us when we have been struggling.

We are tempted to think that we have gone out of the will of the Lord when trouble comes, but that may not always be the case, for in these times of crisis the Lord is able to reach us because our need is so great that we have nowhere to look but up.

Even though we may look down at times, (look away from God’s provision of grace and truth in Jesus Christ), nevertheless our face again and again is lifted up so that we may look in faith towards the only One who is able to bring us help in our time of need.

When in the midst of fear and uncertainty, we by faith, behold and believe the promises of our Lord towards us. We from the heart, break forth in praise and worship, saying, “Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Thy glory be above all the earth.”

In your times of crisis, how has the Lord ministered to you? Through the Word, through song, through a person? Share your experiences with someone, for in doing so, you will bring renewed blessing to yourself and encouragement to them. For it is in the sharing of experiences of faith that we are drawn closer to one another in Christ.

Be encouraged today through the experience and testimony of David, which He received from his/our God.

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