Sunday Devotional 2nd of July 2023
by Bruce Billington
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we complete our brief look at Psalm 52 – a Psalm of David’s.
Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
This is such an interesting statement coming from David – although we must not overlook the fact that it is recorded in Scripture as strong advice for all who serve the Lord.
David was a mighty warrior and the surrounding nations had learned to greatly fear him. But here we find that, because of a threat from within, through of a degree of betrayal and division (maybe the event with Absalom?), David has come to a place of anguish and fear and longed to escape his desperate situation (see preceding verses).
It seems that here we can learn a couple of very important lessons here from David.
1. In times of severe trial, we should not try to repress our emotions.
In fact, we should never allow the pressure of troubling circumstances to continually build up inside us. The earlier we go before God and seek His counsel, both directly and through those we trust or have speaking into our lives, the better off we will be. Pouring out our hearts to God is one of the key actions we need to take in our journey of life.
God will always listen when we cry out to Him. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we have the freedom to come boldly into His presence to find grace for help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14–16). Jesus puts out this call in Matthew 11:28 when He says, “Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Peter tells us to cast all our care upon him; for he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7).
This is one of the great keys and privileges of being a son or daughter of God.
2. It is not always impossible to escape our problems.
This is the first time in all of David’s many Psalms that we have seen him expressing fear. At other times he has always seemed ready to confront any evil boldly. Nowhere before has he expressed a wish to escape his trouble, to fly away and be at rest as he does here.
Why? What is happening here?
I agree with many commentators who argue that when we are young, we tackle many of problems with optimism and with our full strength. We meet things head on and we may well have achieved certain victories by doing this. But as life goes on, we find that the problems we thought we had overcome earlier are still around. There may be ongoing problems at our work, our teenage kids may seem bolshy, our finances are still a struggle, and on the story goes.
Also, as we get older, we find that we have less energy to cope with problems and for some, less inclination to be in confrontational circumstances. We have much less appetite for them and may well join David in thinking how great it would be just to fly away and escape them. Or we may well find ways of escape that are not healthy or beneficial long term.
Many, upon realising that problems are always there, take the option of dropping out. This is reflected in high divorce rates; job hopping; disconnecting from our children; and at the extreme end, suicide.
But God has not called us to escape – He has granted us the power to endure. He calls on us to lean on Him in prayer, saturate ourselves in His empowering Word, and apply the inner workings of His Holy Spirit to every such circumstance. This is where the power of overcoming is found.
Warren Wiersbe said,
We don’t need wings like a dove so we can fly away from the storm. We need wings like an eagle so we can fly above the storm (Isaiah 40:30–31).
Paul told Timothy to endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3).
The call that is going out here is to bring God into the situation and everything will go so much better, and we will receive whatever it is that God wanted us to learn from each situation.
The quicker we learn to do this, the better.
God bless you.