Confidence even when bad news and opposition surrounds us. Headlines may be bringing bad news to mind. It does not seem there is a shortage of bad news in our current culture. Opposition may stand at every corner. It is easy to lose trust, but we can have confidence. Our bad news may not make the headlines and our opposition may not be as well-known, but it is as devastating to us. The relationship that ends and the job that is lost probably will not make the news, but it still shakes us. Even though our trust is shaken, we can have confidence. Psalm 112:7-8, in speaking of those who follow the Lord, says, “They do not fear bad news. They confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless, and can face their foes triumphantly.” Psalm 112 states this confidence in the Lord comes in true wisdom. It comes in following his guidance for our lives. Following the Lord will give us light in darkness. It will provide us with a path when it seems there is no path to be found. As you read today’s headlines and survey your current situation in life, ask this question. “Where is my confidence?” Confidence in the Lord will give us the boldness to tackle today and approach tomorrow.
It is freeing.
George Washington Carver became one of his generation’s most honored and beloved scientists by focusing on a simple peanut. Carver eventually found some 300 uses for this common food item. Carver attributed all of his scientific discoveries to God.
Carver remarked he once asked God to explain the universe to him, but felt God saying that was too large of a task. When he asked for something he could handle, he believed God directed his focus to the peanut. Carver said he would be helpless if God did not pull back the curtain of truth.
Telling ourselves the truth and recognizing our place in God’s plans can be a freeing experience. The truth reminds us of our reliance on the Lord. The truth is fear and anxiety may be a part of our current circumstances, and God will be there with us.
The truth was freeing for David.
David may have understood the freeing experience of telling himself the truth. Some have suggested David wrote the Psalms as therapy for himself. In Psalm 57, we find David hiding in a cave as Saul is pursuing him. Everything seems grim for David, but he understands the Lord will take care of him.
David writes in Psalm 57, “I am surrounded by fierce lions, who greedily devour human prey, whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.” There is no doubt he felt the fear and anxiety of the current moment.
We too may feel the fear and anxiety of the current moment. The fear of things getting worse. The anxiety of our bank account balance dropping. What happens when the emergency fund is depleted? The confusion of conflicting data and mixed messages. The truth is life has fearful and anxious moments.
Like David, we can look at the bigger picture in these moments.
A bigger picture gives a more confident viewpoint.
David writes, “My heart is confident in you. My heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises. Wake up my heart…I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.”
David was in the cave, but he knew God was beside him. David was being chased, but he knew God was shielding him. Amid his fear and anxiety, David told himself the truth concerning God’s presence.
Amid our fears and anxieties, we can echo the truth of God’s presence. The truth is freeing.
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Stability may crumble. People may turn away, but God will stay.
He found himself thrust out of the king’s liking. Saul was annoyed and jealous of David, so he wanted him killed. David fled to Gath hoping to find refuge, but they chased him out of town. He ends up in a cave hiding from Saul, and David finds his refuge in the Lord.
Psalm 56 and 57 record David’s thoughts during this time.
They will not leave me alone.
“O God have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me,” David writes in Psalm 56:1-2.
Can you relate? It seems everyone is against you. They constantly pick at the work you are doing. They continually criticize and never encourage. You feel no matter what you do, it will never be enough. Their ideas and agenda do not include you, so the quicker you are cut off the better.
Where will you go? What will you do? David had the same kind of questions and found refuge in the Lord.
David turned to the Lord for refuge.
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you,” David writes in Psalm 56:3.
David says in Psalm 57 he will hide in the Lord’s refuge until the calamity passes. “My heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises,” he writes in verse 7.
David’s stability was shaken. He had nowhere to turn until he remembered he could trust the Lord.
Our stability may be shaken, and we may feel as if we have no where to turn. But we can trust the Lord. He will be with us while we are the topic of office gossip. He will be with us as others may toss us aside. Those slandering us may treat us like garbage, but the Lord will treat us like a treasure. He will be with us until the calamity passes.
Like David, you and I can confidently say, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.”
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Psalm 27 reminds us of the Lord’s faithfulness.
Life was unsettled. He was fighting adversaries which seemed bigger than big. He could not stay in his own home because of his enemies. Trying to flee his enemies, David was forced to seek refuge in the wilderness. Yet, his confidence in the Lord remained.
Verses 1-3 say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.”
David’s adversaries were large. Their strength and size caused David to hide, yet when David’s opponents were compared to the greatness of the Lord, there was no need for him to fear. David found his well-being and strength in the Lord, so there was no room for fear.
Our enemies may not be forcing us into the wilderness, but they are lurking around us. Lost jobs, economic downturns, a bearish stock market, and an unsettled future are crouched in the shadows awaiting an opportune time to strike with fear and panic.
They may be large, but when compared to the greatness of the Lord, we can find confidence. Our well-being and strength are found in the Lord, so there is no room for fear.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
We may be facing down large opponents today. We may be nearing the end of our resources, yet we can echo the Words of David. The Lord is our light and our salvation, so why should we be afraid? The Lord is our fortress, so whom shall we fear?