When in difficulty, it is tempting to despair. We look at life through dark-colored lenses and see only trouble and no hope. We see only trial and persecution and no deliverance. We might say with David (Psalm 57):
My soul is among lions;
I must lie among those who breathe forth fire,
Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows
And their tongue a sharp sword.…
They have prepared a net for my steps;
My soul is bowed down;
They dug a pit before me… (Psa 57:4, 6 NASB)
Despite the strength of those feelings, the believer in Christ must never trust his own impressions more than he trusts the unwavering truth about God. When we despair, we think more of our perception of our circumstances than we do the God who has ordered and is over those circumstances. We value our evaluation more than we value God’s sovereignty and trustworthiness.
This is not to deny that we have trouble. We do. “In this world, you will have tribulation,” Jesus said. But in this world, in our tribulation, we also have an opportunity to see the hand of God at work in our lives, shaping and transforming us into the likeness of Christ in the midst of those trials. So as you read this Psalm, also be attentive to the attributes of God that make God trustworthy in our trials:
I will cry to God Most High, (God in heaven is sovereign)
To God who accomplishes all things for me. (God is omnipotent and sovereign)
He will send from heaven and save me; (God cares for His own)
He reproaches him who tramples upon me. (God is just)
God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. (God is gracious and truthful)
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth. (God is glorified; worship Him)
For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens (God’s grace is infinite)
And Your truth to the clouds. (God’s truth is infinite)
Because these things are true, David says he will take refuge in God (v. 1), he will petition God (v. 2), he will remain firm and resolute (steadfast) in his commitment to God (v. 7), he will sing the praises of God (vv. 7, 9), he will thank God (v. 9), and he will honor and glorify God (v. 11). Now his trials may not yet be over; yet in the midst of the trials, the Psalmist re-orients his mind and heart to thinking on and trusting the grace and sovereignty of God rather than his perception of his trouble.
Why trust God? Because He is God. And He is good in all He does.