Psalm 118:5-6 (NIV)
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
I am excited about our Verse of the Day! I have always loved Psalm 118 and its message of reliance upon the Lord. The opening verse reveals the foundation on which our relationship with Father God is established. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Yes, because God is faithful (Cf. Deuteronomy 7:9; 32:4), we give Him thanks and exalt Him for His great love toward us! King David was keenly aware of this incredible intimacy God desires to have with those who love Him. His unfailing love is the anchor of their faith and why it rests completely in Him! God invites us to trust Him in everything with our entire being … no matter what our eyes may see or how life circumstances appear. This is what moved David to seek God and His help in times of trouble. Indeed, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. (Cf. Psalm 46:1)
Psalm 118:5-9 (NLT)
5 In my distress I prayed to the Lord; and the Lord answered me and set me free. 6 The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the Lord is for me; He will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
When I first read this verse, my thoughts wandered to all the times I’ve felt stressed out (hard pressed in the translation). And I think my “go-to” response has generally been to “cry out to the Lord” … meaning to pray to Him. There will always be dilemmas to navigate. There will always be questions we want answered. Why is this happening, Lord? Why is this happening to me? Like King David, we find can ourselves in the midst of great battles – distressed by difficult situations or circumstances and surrounded by an unseen enemy … fear. Somehow, David knew prayer would bring the presence of God into his personal circumstances. Prayer would be a channel for receiving discernment and wisdom from an all-knowing and all-loving God. So, no matter what we are facing, we need to remember that prayer should always be our first response. David expressed deep trust in God throughout His inspired writings. And I pray that each of us come to the place in our own walk of faith to profess: “Into Your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. (Cf. Psalm 31:5) It foreshadows the final words that Jesus cried out from the cross: “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” (Cf. Luke 23:46) In this prayer, we express the utmost trust in our God and Savior!
When David prayed, the more immediate benefit was that the Lord “brought him into a spacious place.” Other translations rendered it “broad” or “large” place. Metaphorically, David experienced a change of mental disposition. God helped him find perspective in his circumstances. When all David could see was the immediate pressing problem in front of him, God helped him see the larger, broader picture … the view from a higher altitude. And that is what David needed to relieve his stress … and more importantly … to calm his fear. In Verse 6, David comes to understand (through his time of prayer with God) that “the Lord is with him.” What a wonderful and powerful affirmation to receive when you and I become stressed out, worried, or fretful. God is with us! His Name is Emmanuel! Indeed, God is for us! We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us! (Cf. Romans 8:31-39)
The surrender of ourselves has always been a challenge for the human heart; and I believe it is the lack of sincere trust in our Creator that leads us to fear and paralysis. The Father urges us to rely upon Him and His strength to face the troubles of life … to entreat Him to rescue us when the battles come and grow fierce. And God will demonstrate the faithfulness of His love toward those who love and wholly trust Him. His Word declares His faithfulness:
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our Savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. ~ Psalm 65:5
I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. ~ Psalm 71:22
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. ~ Psalm 86:15
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful. ~ Psalm 89:8
He has remembered His love and His faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. ~ Psalm 98:3
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. ~ Isaiah 25:1
So, the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. ~ Isaiah 30:18
Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain He sends demonstrates His faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. ~ Joel 2:23
For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. ~ John 1:17
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
My friends, the Lord is ever faithful to you! You can trust Him in all circumstances of life! As Peter advised, “Cast all your anxiety upon because He cares for you!” (Cf. 1 Peter 5:7) And remember, “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.” (Cf. Isaiah 54:17)
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9