July 10-14


The Problems We Face
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;  all day long an attacker oppresses me;     2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.– Psalm 56:1-3 (ESV) A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from a large plate window. For a few moments, everything was silent in the cab. Then, the shaking driver said, “Are you OK? I’m so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me…” The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said “I didn’t realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle someone so badly.” The driver replied, “No, no, I’m the one who is sorry, it’s entirely my fault, today is my very first day driving a cab. I’ve been driving a hearse for 25 years…” (Source: Unknown) In Psalm 56:3, David recalls what he does when he’s afraid. The phrase he uses is literally, “the day I am afraid.” David did not hesitate to admit that there were times when he was afraid. In verse 1 David feared his enemies trampling him and swallowing him up. David found no friend in a man. He felt like everywhere his enemies were trying to kill him. David’s only refuge was in God.
God occasionally uses fear to make us cautious but also to lead us to put our trust in Him. What fears do you have that make you cautious? What fear do you have that forces you to rely on God?
Praise God for the times He has used fear to keep you out of danger and to bring you closer to Himself. Confess any fears you are currently facing to God.


The Promise We Claim: Rely on God
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. – Psalm 56:3 (ESV) A young girl, unaccustomed to traveling, was taking a train ride through the country, and it happened that in the course of the day, her train was obliged to cross two branches of a river and several wide streams. The water seen in advance always awakened doubts and fears in the child. She did not understand how it could safely be crossed. As they drew near the river, however, a bridge appeared and furnished a way over. Two or three times the experience was repeated, and finally, the child leaned back with a long breath of relief and confidence. “Somebody has put bridges for us all the way!” she said in trusting content. (Source: American Messenger) David believed that God had put bridges for him all the way. David confesses, “I will trust in You.” David knew that God was able to save and that calmed his mind and spirit. David knew that God had the power to save him from anything. David also believed that if God didn’t save Him from something, God had a greater good in mind for His glory.
What are some of the “bridges” God has provided for you in times of trouble? When has God allowed you to face a fear that led to bigger blessings?
Praise God for the bridges He has provided for you along the way. Confess to God that you trust Him to help you with your fears.


Where is God in My Suffering?
In Psalm 6, David is clinging to God. His deep sufferings led him to inquire whether it was not on account of his sins that he was afflicted and whether he should regard his sorrow as proof that God was displeased with him for his sins. David didn’t want anything to come between him and God.
How have you experienced the aforementioned example of the vine in suffering? When has God used suffering to draw you closer to Himself?
Thank God for the promise of His presence even when you are suffering and don’t feel Him. Ask God to use any suffering you are currently experiencing to draw you closer to Himself.


The Promise We Claim: Rest in His promise
“…in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Psalm 56:11 (ESV)
Uncle Oscar was apprehensive about his first airplane ride. His friends, eager to hear how it went, asked if he enjoyed the flight. “Well,” commented Uncle Oscar, “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but I’ll tell you this. I never did put all my weight down!” David put all of his “weight down” on God. David wrote, “in God I trust.” This is similar to what he wrote in Psalms 56:6, except that the word “man” is used here instead of “flesh.” The meaning, however, is the same. The idea is, that he would not be afraid of what “any man” could do to him if he was trusting God. David is reiterating that he is firmly committed to resting in God’s promises.
Has this summer been a busy time or a time of rest for you? Do you believe you are resting spiritually in God’s promises this summer?
Praise God for some of your favorite promises He has made to you. Ask God to help you put your full trust in His promises.


The Praise We Give
I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. – Psalm 56:12-13 (ESV) Every day when the sun rises over Washington DC, its first rays fall on the eastern side of the city’s tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The first part of that monument to reflect the rising sun is the eastern side of its aluminum capstone, where these words are inscribed: Laus Deo, Latin for “Praise be to God.” This compact prayer of praise, visible to the eyes of heaven alone, is tacit recognition of our nation’s unique acknowledgment of the place of God in its founding and its continuance. (Source: What in the World Is Going On? David Jeremiah) David finishes Psalm 56 by praising God. The word “vow” means something promised; some obligation under which we have voluntarily brought ourselves. David made a promise to God that he would remain grateful for God’s blessings and keep praising him even when he was afraid. The “vow” David made was a promise to be faithful to God no matter what.
Thermostats are designed to set the temperature in a room. Starting every morning with a time of praise and confessing your dependence on God is a great way to set the spiritual thermostat on your day. Do you have a morning spiritual routine to get your day started?
Praise God for delivering you from the penalty of sin. Ask God to help you start your days with Him.