Be merciful to me, my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise –
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:1-4 (NIV)
We live in an age where many are plagued by fears and worries in their lives.  And Christians are not exempt from this fear.  Many believers around the world are openly persecuted not just by neighbours and colleagues, but by the very authorities ruling over them too.  Others face unemployment, loneliness, rejection and slander, sometimes because of their faith in Jesus.  Those who work for the armed forces face enemy attack on a regular basis.  We live in a world where mortal man can, and does, do a lot to harm his fellow man.
So perhaps this is the time when we need to cling to verses such as these in the Psalms the most.  Penned by David when he was fleeing from a vengeful King Saul and captured by the Philistines, this Psalm speaks of intense fear and anxiety.  David finds himself being badmouthed by others, and worse, he is public enemy number one in two different countries, including his own country!
David is running for his life, yet he praises God and trusts him in the midst of all his fears.  He turns to God in trust and says, "What can mere mortals do to me?"  At face value, mortal man can do a lot to harm David (and us)!  But David understands that he can have faith in God because of God's word.   Several times in Psalm 56 (v.4 and 10), David says that he will put his trust in God, "whose word I praise".  He knows what God has to say in the Bible and he has faith in it.  And David didn't have the full Bible that we have today!  How much more can we trust in God no matter our situation because we know His word and praise it!
We see throughout the Bible how faithful God is in keeping His promises.  We see how awesome are His plans and designs for all creation.  Living in the age we do, we also have the immense privilege of seeing God's ultimate salvation of His people through Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection on the third day.  We have seen God defeat sin and death for us!
The remainder of the Psalm gives further reasons to trust in God, including God's justice and His compassion, even more reminders that we can and should turn to God in times of fear and trouble.  So what will you do the next time you lie awake in fear or anxiety thinking about the troubles in your life?  Let us pray that we will respond as David does, and turn to God in complete trust and praise.  Maybe we should be aiming to memorise helpful verses such as Psalm 56 (or Romans 8:31-39) so that we will always be comforted by God's word and reminded of how much we can trust in Him.  And pray for those of our brothers and sisters in the faith who face persecution and even death because of their faith in Christ, that they may know the comfort of Psalm 56 in their hearts.

Comments (5)

On July 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM , NellywithWings said...

Lovely finds. Thanks for the wonderful Psalm. We have a HUGE God, who is also our Daddy. When we see Him that way, life and its fears are tiny.

On July 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM , Sara/WormeWoole said...

Thank you, Deb. This is beautiful -- what a God we have!

On July 6, 2013 at 7:40 AM , MYSAVIOR said...



On July 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM , bananaorangeapple said...

It is amazing how the psalms are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago when David wrote them.

On July 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM , Cynthia S. said...

Wonderful post!