When you read the Psalms of David, you will notice that he experienced the highest of mountaintops and the steepest drops into the deepest valleys. He encountered every long, dark tunnel, the greenest meadow, the driest desert, and every upside-down twist and turn of the best (or worst) roller coaster ever built.
As we enter David’s life in Psalm 56, we find this is one of the low places. He wrote these words to the chief musician when the Philistines captured him.
He begins by saying: “Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.”
He continues in the first part of verse 3 by saying:
“WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID,”
He didn’t say he was never afraid, never had been afraid, never would be afraid. He said, “What time I am afraid.”
The comma after “afraid” in verse three comes in as a snap to attention, a lift of the head, a tightening of the jaw, the drawing of a line in the sand, a closing door, and the lock snapping into place because it is followed by the words:
“I WILL TRUST IN THEE.”
When I was a child, I was not fond of the dark. Even after marriage, the distance I traveled from the light switch on the wall to the bed seemed like a million miles away. I honestly do not know where that fear came from, but I did make a conscious decision that I would not be afraid because Jesus is with me. I’d call out His Name on the long journey from the doorway light switch to the bed. Eventually, my understanding, knowledge, and trust in God and knowing He was ever-present with me freed me from fear.
We do not consciously name the emotions we sometimes feel as fear. If worry, anxiety, uncertainty, dread, panic, agitation, apprehension, disquiet, concern, dismay, confusion, and cowardice were in a pot and boiled down, they would become fear.
We have all felt one or two, if not more, of these emotions when we’ve had situations arise over which we have no control.
David felt this when the Philistines took him, I’m sure. David said it well: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
I don’t trust what I can do about it, the answer to come, or my ability to gain control—none of these things. We put our trust in Jesus!
II Samuel 22:3, “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.”
Psalm 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Psalm 37:40, “And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”
Psalm 56:4, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what man can do unto me.”
Yes, there will be times when we are overwhelmed by circumstances out of our control. But when they arise, and we begin to feel overwhelmed or afraid, we can say:
I TRUST IN HIM. I AM NOT AFRAID.