Military leaders are some of the strongest, most courageous people on the planet. They develop a plan of attack, face the enemy, and lead their troops into battle. King David was a shepherd, a soldier and a military leader. He had battled lions, giants, and huge armies. During his military campaigns, God continued to give him skill and victory.
Still, David had his bad days. Some days he felt depressed, fearful and overwhelmed. Wisely, on those days he turned to the Lord in prayer. And as he sang, talked and listened to the Lord, he was reminded to be strong and courageous, fully trusting in the power and presence of the Lord. When David had spent time with the Lord in prayer, He emerged stronger than before.
In Psalm 31, we hear David’s prayer to the Lord and his encouragement to God’s people. When I read the words of David, here is how I summarize David’s song of prayer to the Lord.
“Because of who You are, rescue me.” David knows that God is the all-powerful, great God of the universe. God is his Rock and his Refuge. God is righteous and full of faithful love. David doesn’t ask God to rescue him because David is so wonderful; rather, he essentially says, “God, because of who YOU are, rescue me.” Pray this prayer to the Lord. It will change your perspective and put your trust in the right place.
“Because of my distress, be gracious to me.” Some of David’s troubles were because of his own sin and he acknowledged that. He asked God to be gracious to him. He asked God to display his mercy and faithful love to him. Some of David’s troubles were because he lived in a broken world, yet in the midst of his distress he turned his attention to the Lord.
“Because You are the GREAT I AM, we put our trust in You.” God had revealed His name to Moses at the burning bush hundreds of years before, and David knew the Lord closely. He knew that God was the Great I Am, meaning that God was the self-sufficient and self-existent One, the One who is everything we need Him to be. While some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Tanks and bombs, sickness and heartaches, temptations and difficulties are all temporary; our God is eternal. We trust in our eternal God. He gives abundant life and eternal life to all who trust in Him.
When David finished His time of prayer to the Lord, he concluded with the words: “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.”
I don’t know what enemies you are facing, enemies such as fear, temptation and distress. But what I do know is that through prayer and the study of God’s Word, such as Psalm 31, you can daily stand strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, overcoming every enemy that life throws your way. Be strong and courageous!