Many of us face difficult situations in our lives, moments when we are overwhelmed by the problems and cares of this life. And while it is easy for us to say, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” it is difficult to be obedient to that important passage in scripture. It is hard to “turn on” our joy when we have just spent 15 minutes trying to calm a 4-year-old down because they are angry that they have to wear clothes to school. Or when you find out that you forgot to put that bill in the mail. Or when you've just fought with your spouse. It may seem as if everything is falling in around you and you feel like you are failing in life. Problems are real, and the anxiety of it all is real, and you can’t help but echo the words of John Mayer…“Stop this train, I want to get off and go home again. I can’t take the speed it’s moving in. I know I can’t. But honestly, won’t someone stop this train”. Can you relate? I know I can. King David could as well. There were moments in his life where he couldn’t see God working; he couldn’t see the promise that God had made to him when he was young. I’m sure he thought, “Hey wait, aren’t I supposed to be the king? Aren’t I supposed to be blessed by God? And now I’m running for my life and I haven’t done anything wrong. How did I get here?” In fact, listen to how David perceives his circumstance. “I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey— whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.” (Psalm 57:4). Can you relate to the stress and anxiety that David is going through? But David has an interesting response to his circumstance, and I think it might give you some hope in your own moments of anxiety and stress. This verse, which very honestly discloses David’s fears and complaints, occurs in the middle of a song of praise! David continues with this declaration: “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth” (Psalm 57:5). David’s response to the immensity of his circumstance was to worship God and declare His glory.
Something happens when we worship God. There is a spiritual transaction that takes place. It isn’t that we forget about our problems; instead we are reminded that God is bigger than them. When we focus on the greatness of God our problems don’t necessarily go away, but God grants us peace in the midst of them. We see evidence of this in Philippians 4, when God promises that peace that transcends all human understanding “will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” David’s struggles didn’t just go away when He penned Psalm 57, but his hope and confidence in the strength of God was reawakened.
You might be walking through a difficult time in your life. I would like to encourage you to take a moment and remember God faithfulness and, even if you don’t feel like it right now, take a step of faith and echo the words of David, “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!” In fact, take a look at the whole psalm, and declare it in your moment of need.
“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,
To God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
Disgracing those who hound me.
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
I am surrounded by fierce lions
Who greedily devour human prey—
Whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
And whose tongues cut like swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
May your glory shine over all the earth.
My enemies have set a trap for me.
I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
But they themselves have fallen into it.
My heart is confident in you, O God;
My heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.”