Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (NIV)
One of the privileges of being with a congregation for a long time is watching people grow in faith, especially during times of adversity, hardship, and loss. I am often touched by the spiritual strength that church members have which has been built up by their regular commitment to worship, study, fellowship, and prayer. Over the years, they have deposited a great deal of faith, hope, and trust in God, so that when the inevitable happens, they pull on those resources that they have banked within their souls, enabling them to both endure and overcome. It’s a remarkable process which I cherish; it’s something that I often wish others in the community would recognize in lives of church folks today.
King David, the writer of today’s psalm, had his share of problems, too. Psalm 18 was written at a time when David as a young man was a fugitive, fleeing from the rants, wrath, and instability of King Saul. David sought refuge in another land, but he still looked to God to deliver him from the threats of violence and his enemies. Throughout his entire life, David depended on God to enable him to overcome his troubles and effectively solve his problems. His faith never faltered, even though his personal life included times of weakness, pride, and sin. Overall, he fully relied on God’s grace to both forgive and sustain him which is why in both the Old and New Testaments David is referred to as ‘a man after God’s own heart.’ (1 Samuel 13:14 & Acts 13:22).
Perhaps you are going through a hard time, a heartfelt loss, or a severe issue. Maybe you feel overwhelmed, lost, or confused. Whatever the case, please know this: The God who actively helped David in the past lives and watches over our lives today. In the midst of your pain or problems, lean on God’s love. At a time of turmoil or trouble, let God be the solid rock of faith, trust, and comfort that you need. God will not leave you or forsake you; instead, God will cherish and embrace, enabling you to endure and overcome.
Point to ponder
What is currently troubling me? Am I willing to place my burden prayerfully in God’s hands?
Prayer: Lord God, You know us completely and are fully aware of our present circumstances and difficulties. Allow to lean on You; enable us to rest on You; permit us to rely on You. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. If you have any questions or feedback about this message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com. If you are looking for a church or are in Knoxville at the weekend, come and join us for worship at Erin on Sunday at 11:00 AM. You will be made very welcome among us.
Today’s image is one of John’s original Psalm drawings based on another verse from Psalm 18. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Psalm 18.