Courage

Psalm 56

Focus: 56:3 When I am afraid, I trust in you.

This passage describes how David had been taken captive by his enemies, the Philistines. This was David, the one with a reputation of having slain his “10,000’s,” the hero who saved Israel. He now finds himself in incredibly humble circumstances. The tides have surely changed.

What was this hero to think when he has been taken captive by his enemies, the people of whom he had slain their mighty man Goliath? Certainly, he knew death would be imminent. His mighty valor would be crushed and his pride sapped away. Not only that, but God’s people Israel would be humiliated in David’s defeat. God’s reputation would be laughed at.

But what inspires David to have such courage in dreadful circumstances? David’s trust was in Yahweh. David’s trust was placed in God! The trial that he undergoes was not his opportunity to finally place his trust in God. Rather, this moment of humble circumstance is the test that proves what David already had: trust in God.

This passage shows us the courage God’s people can have when they have aligned their lives to Him. Courage takes knowledge of a hope or promise. Courage allows one to act on one’s beliefs despite danger or disapproval. We know that David believed God for His promises. In verse 4 he writes, “I boast in His promise.” In verse 10, he twice declares, “I boast in His promise.” David’s strength welled up from the certainty of God’s plans and promises.

Therefore, great courage requires great trust. Christian courage requires knowledge of God’s promises to His people. If we wish to have the tenacity to do what is right in tough situations, then we must be aware of God’s plans for His people. We need to know God. When we have such an intimate knowledge of God, we can also declare, “When I am afraid, I trust in you,” no matter what the circumstance.

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