Living Water: From Fear to Faith (6)

The Lord Keeps My Feet from Stumbling

Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
   all day long they press their attack.
My slanderers pursue me all day long;
   many are attacking me in their pride.

When I am afraid,
   I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
   What can mortal man do to me? . . .

Record my lament;
   list my tears on your scroll —
   are they not in your record?

Then my enemies will turn back
   when I call for help.
   By this I will know that God is for me.
(Psalm 56:1-4, 8-9)

Many have found the psalms of David to be deeply reassuring in times of fear. One reason for this is that David himself was well acquainted with fear, especially during the years when he was hotly pursued by King Saul. For months at a time, David feared for his life and barely stayed one step ahead of Saul’s hateful rages. David’s psalms reflect both the depth of his fear and the depth of his trust in God.

When do you feel the kind of incessant pressure that King David describes in the first stanza?

Note how King David both praises God and petitions him. How can praise and prayer help to assure us that “God is for me”?

How can you cultivate the disciplines of praise and petition in the midst of your own fearful situations?

Are we weak and heavy laden,
   cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge:
   take it to the Lord in prayer!
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee;
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
   In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.
(Joseph M. Scriven)


Taken from Be Not Afraid by David Ivaska. ©2000 by David Ivaska. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426.

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