By Dennis Thurman
I will love You, O LORD, my strength. (Psalm 18:1)
After watching TV, I am convinced that there is nothing good happening anywhere! Do you ever feel that way? The fact is life is not easy. God never promised it would be. We enter the world with nothing and exit the same way. We are born through great trauma, as we struggle to catch our first breath, and often die in great trauma as we struggle for our final breath! That sets the tone for life on a planet ravaged by the curse of sin. The author of this Psalm, David, could attest to that. Life was not easy for him, yet, the difficulties made the deliverance all the sweeter. His testimony can inspire us to have confidence to confront life’s challenges.
He sings of CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S PERSON (v.1-3). This confidence is expressed in OUR WORSHIP. David expresses His love to God. God had proven His love to David. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Love is an act of the will foremost—more than a feeling, though emotion is certainly important. It is a promise to love forever—an oath of loyalty. He is Yahweh—and David is in a covenant relationship with Him. Out of this relationship flows strength. David’s strength would have proven insufficient for the challenges he faced, but it did not depend on him—and God’s power is more than enough!
David expresses CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S PERCEPTION (v.4-6). The Almighty God knows OUR WEAKNESS. Not even a little bird flutters and falls to the ground without His notice. Do not think God is unaware and uncaring. David felt as though a tsunami of trouble would drown him. Perhaps you can identify. Fear was threatening to supplant faith. David was in a dark pit of depression. Sometimes we seem in a hole we cannot escape. Not only troubles, but tears are part of our path. Still, there are no tears unseen by God (Ps.56:8). He keeps them as a memorial; He acts in His time. Troubles, tears and traps—it is a perfect picture of peril. Distress has a way of driving us to God, however—and that is a good thing!
The Psalmist declares CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S POWER (v.7-45). We face the reality of OUR WARFARE. In most of his battles, David was outmanned and overmatched. Remember the words of William Carey, founder of the modern missions movement, rightly said, “One with God is a majority.” In poetic language, David recalls the mighty deliverances of God in the nation’s past—the deliverance from Egypt’s slavery in the Exodus and the victories in Canaan under Joshua. David had experienced his own deliverances. Recalling such past help inspires confidence in our current conflicts.
David’s lyrics voice CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S PURPOSE (v.46-50). David’s personal triumph leads him to a public testimony. He is the living God—eternal and unchangeable—a Rock that cannot be moved. That which He has purposed concerning us moves inexorably to its completion. He is the Lord God—all powerful and unconquerable. He subdues our enemies. His purposes cannot be thwarted. David in essence sings, “How great is our God!” He wants the world to know—even the Gentiles should know. Our world is a desperate place and we alone know where hope is found. Like David, having experienced deliverance from sin, we extend this witness to others. This is how to have confidence to confront life’s challenges.
Dennis Thurman has pastored churches in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Currently, he is Senior Pastor of Pole Creek Baptist Church where he has served for almost 20 years. Married to Marilyn for 40 years, they have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
This article was originally posted on Dennis’ blog, Mountain Top Musings