Points of Resonation:

Where does this psalm speak of difficult things you can relate to?  As you look over the experiences found in Psalm 56, where/when do you experience these kinds of things?

v. 1 – being attacked by others
v. 2 – slander from prideful people
v. 3 – fear
v. 5 – having your words distorted
v. 6 – people looking for an opportunity to take advantage of you
v. 8 – seeking comfort from God
v. 9 – looking for confirmation from God
v. 11 – having to remind myself of God’s truth during hardship

It is important for us to not just learn from the psalms, but also to identify with them.  God gives us the Psalms as a way to put our difficult experiences into words (one way that God fulfills His promise in Romans 8:26-27).  Now that you have identified where Psalm 56 intersects with your life, walk with David as he seeks to trust God in the midst of fearful circumstances.

When I Am Afraid…

Often we view our moment of temptation as everything that happens before we become fearful or anxious.  Our tendency can be to believe that once we have given into fear that we have lost.  All that is left to do now is to repent and wait for the next opportunity to trust God (and “do better next time”).

This is not the perspective of Psalm 56:3.  As David faces fear, we do not hear the tones of shame at failure, but opportunity – “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”  David did not view his current fear as a violation of Philippians 4:6 (not that it had been written yet), because he recognized that where he turned during his fear was what mattered.  Where we turn in our fear is what reveals what we truly trust.

Use the following questions to assist you to avoid a sense of shame and failure during moments of fear and anxiety.  The goal of these questions is to provide you with the insight to fulfill I Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because He cares for you.”

  • What is it that is (i.e., people or events) making you afraid or anxious?
  • What is it that these people or events might take from you?
  • What does this thing mean to you?  What makes it so significant?
  • Where is God in the midst of this situation?
  • Who is God in reference to this predicament?
  • What has God promised regarding these matters?
  • What does faith in God look like in this situation?
  • In what aspects of this situation does God call you to rest in His provision/protection?
  • In what aspects of this situation does God call you to wise obedience and action?

Introduction to the “Living Our Faith” series.