Prayer and Divine Protection.
“Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you”
The Psalms often reach deep within our soul to give comfort and encouragement in difficult times. But these words, that provide such consolation for us, came at a cost to the ones who wrote them. When David wrote many of the Psalms, they were utterances of his deep sorrow, anguish, and trouble that he experienced as life turned against him. Even though David would be remembered and revered as the greatest king of Israel, it was the words he would write in the times of his darkest experiences that would become a stalwart of the Christian faith. While many of the Psalm provide us details regarding the circumstances that gave rise to their words, in this particular case there is no such background given. However, as we read through the Psalm, we find words that were written from the context of profound pain. In the Psalm, we find that his enemy was pursuing him because of a grudge against him (vs 3). He speaks of his deep terror and anguish (4-5). The words speak of war and violence (9). However, the most tragic words we find is the reference to the betrayal he experienced at the hand of a friend. His enemy was not some foreign invader, but a close friend with whom he had both a friendship and spiritual communion (vs 23-24). It is one thing to be attacked by an enemy, it is quite another when a close friend turns against you. Such was the pain that David felt as he describes his heart in anguish (vs 4) with fear and trembling overwhelming him (vs 5).
The strength of our faith is revealed in our response to adversity. While David pleads for God to listen as he laments the betrayal of his friend, he realigns his faith by looking for salvation from God. Even though his pain seemed unbearable, he turns to prayer to find hope and deliverance. Rather than wallow in his self-pity, he relies upon God for salvation (vs 16) and remains confident that God will hear his prayer and bring salvation. Throughout the last part of the Psalm, he expresses his confidence that God will save him (vs 16); He will hear his voice (vs 17); He will redeem him (vs 18); he will answer his Prayer (Vs 19); for God does not change (19). He then concludes with an exhortation to us to “cast our burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you,” words that Peter would echo in 1 Peter 5. In the midst of his adversity, his faith sustains him.
God does not promise a trouble-free life. Quite the contrary. Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see the confession that we will face trials and difficulties in life. Faith does not insulate us from trials and prevent tragedy from happening. Rather faith gives us hope in God. He will not prevent adversity, but he will sustain us through the adversity. The picture of God sustaining us is that of God providing nourishment and care. He renews us every morning with his faithful love (Lamentations 3:23). God promises his protection through every circumstance of life. This is what gives us faith in the midst of adversity. As we go through various trials, we can have the confidence of God’s divine protection so the trials we face never threaten the promises he has given us. Today, rest in his protective hand, knowing that he will sustain you no matter what circumstances you may face tomorrow.