Reread that last paragraph. You are anointed king. You defeat your nations greatest enemy single-handedly. You are a national hero. But it takes almost a decade before God puts you on the throne. And that entire decade you are hiding because you don’t want to be killed.
Think David ever had to trust God? Do you think David ever had to wrestle with the circumstances of his life and wonder what is going to happen to him? You can bet that he did and Psalm 56 gives us a small glimpse into his life and struggles.
In this psalm, David gives us four observations as it relates to whether or not we will trust God.
Everyone of us will encounter circumstances in our life that will require of us to choose to trust God.
All of us will. David, the man after God’s own heart, was no exception and neither are we. Chances are that none of will ever experience the type of hardships that David faced. But without a doubt, everyone of us will encounter our own.
Maybe you are in the midst of a major challenge in your life that demands that you trust God. You have no choice You are in the middle of a challenge, just like David was.
Maybe life is good for you. Marriage is good. You have a roof over your heads. You aren’t starving for food. There is money in the bank account. Things couldn’t get better. By the way, if that is you, praise God for that. However, understand that there will come a time where your circumstances will challenge, stretch, move and compel you to either trust God or turn from God.
We need to recognize that there are times that God will allow trouble in our lives to grow us and to make us into the people that He has called us to be. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care. It just means that God has a greater purpose. Because the lessons that David learned while he was running and hiding, God used them to prepare him for the day that he would be leading. The same is true of us. If God allows it, we got to trust that He is going to use it to prepare us for something greater.
God has this pattern that He uses with the people that He loves and calls. It’s pretty simple: God works in us before He works through us. God wants to work in you before He will fully work through you.
God was preparing David. He was using the circumstances in David’s life to teach him something. The most important thing that God wants to do in our lives is to teach us to trust Him. There is no better place for us to learn that than in the midst of circumstances that require that we trust Him.
[pl_blockquote]Our circumstances will either be an obstacle to our faith or an opportunity to demonstrate our faith. The determining factor of whether it will be an obstacle or an opportunity is our choice. It is whether we will choose to demonstrate our faith by trusting God.[/pl_blockquote]
That’s what David did, He chose to trust God. He chose to turn his circumstances into opportunities to demonstrate his faith by trusting God. He is incredibly transparent in the psalm and says, “God I have no idea what is going to happen to me, but I am choosing to run and cling to you.”
You will not trust someone we do not know.
One of the reasons that David could trust God in the midst of all that he was going through was because He knew God. This entire psalm screams intimacy with God. Not only because David pours out his heart to God, but also because of what David says in the midst of his struggle. “In God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (vs 4). He affirms God’s protection and power.
I love verse 8, “You God, you kept count of my tossings. You put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” David is saying is that, every cave I have hid in, every place I have gone, all my wrestling’s, all my struggles, all my doubts, every tear I have shed, God you know them and God you got them. So God, I am going to trust you.
Can I encourage you to hold on to that verse, especially in times of trouble? In times of trouble when we are struggling to trust God, we don’t always feel that God knows us. And if He does know us, we don’t always feel like God cares about us. But he does. This is why regular time in God’s word and regular time praying or regular time being with God – these spiritual habits – are so important for us as followers of Christ. Because without them, we are not going to grow deeper in our relationship with God.
Reading our Bibles and praying and going to church, we don’t do those things to get a relationship with God. And we don’t do those things to keep a relationship with God. We do those things to grow in our relationship with God. We need them. Those are the spiritual habits that we need to develop in our lives. Because the outcome is trust. It is trust. And we won’t truly trust someone we don’t know.
Trusting God requires the grace of God
David begins this psalm by asking God to be gracious to him. We hear the word all the time, but the word grace means to bend or stoop. The imagery is of a father bending down to talk to a child at the child’s level. So picture God bending or stooping. In Scripture, grace is used two ways. It is used of God bending or stooping to save us from our sins or it is used of God bending or stooping to sustain us in times of trouble.
Let me give you an example. When God sent Jesus to live and die for our place for our sin, God was bending and stooping to save us. But when God sent the Holy Spirit to empower us as believers, God was bending and stooping to sustain us. It implies divine assistance. This is why the Holy Spirit in John 14 is called our Helper. We need help.
What David does is ask God for grace so that he could trust God. He’s saying, “God, help me to trust.”
It sounds counter-intuitive. We are supposed to ask God to help us trust God? Yes. Because without His help, we never will. Trusting God requires God’s grace and God’s help. Trusting God is the hardest thing we will ever do in life because our natural desire isn’t to run to God when things are rough. It is to run to ourselves.
But this is where the Holy Spirit comes into play. The Holy Spirit is God inside of us whispering to us, “Run to God. Go to God. He cares. He’s good. He’s sovereign. He knows what is best.”
[pl_blockquote]Please don’t assume that we just need God’s grace to save us, because we also need God’s grace to sustain us.[/pl_blockquote]
Trusting God is not a one-time decision, but an ongoing choice.
Over and over in the psalm David repeats and restates his resolve to trust God. He’s not forgetful, but he is being intentional. When David begins to be fearful, he trusts. Every time he thinks about his circumstances, he trusts. Every time he turns around and he sees the enemy on his heels, he chooses to trust. Every time he grows discouraged or every time he wonders what is going to happen to me, he chooses to trust. Trusting God is not a one-time decision. Instead it is an ongoing, everyday, sometimes moment by moment choice to run to God and to hold on tight. That’s what it means to trust.
This is why I love these kinds of psalms. They remind us that God can handle our wrestling. God can handle our struggles. God can even handle our doubts. In fact, I think that God invites that kind of transparency from us. Because when, like David, we go to God and we pour our heart out to Him, what we are really doing is we are demonstrating that our dependence is on God. It is one way that we choose to trust.
Can we trust God? Absolutely. Will we trust God? That’s a choice we have to make.