Psalm 56 has been a theme for me lately. We received news that cancer had metastasized into my knee and upper leg bones. Over the course of radiation treatment for that, I began to have serious back pain. An MRI revealed more bad news: cancer is present in several vertebrae. Not at all what we wanted to hear, but even in this God is faithful and kind. It is not in my spinal fluid. There is treatment available for the pain.
Over and over during the past few weeks, God continues to lead me back to Psalm 56.
For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam.[b] When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.
1 Be merciful to me, my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
5 All day long they twist my words;
all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
8 Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
Several portions of this scripture stand out to me.
- In verse one “Be merciful to me”. We need God’s mercy every day. In fact we are desperate for it.
- From verse three “When I am afraid I will put my trust in you.” I don’t have to be afraid. When I put my trust in the God who holds my future I can relax and know that He has the very best in mind for me and my family. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I don’t know how God makes everything work out for our good, but I can trust that He will.
- “In God whose word I praise in God I trust; I will not be afraid.” (Psalm 56:4, 10-11) I exhibit my trust in God when I’m in His word consistently and when I am praising Him. Being in God’s word is vital to my belief and trust in Him. His word feeds my soul and encourages my belief. My faith will only go as deep as my Bible Study will take me. The more time I spend in His word the more I am encouraged. It also removes my fear. Praising Him will lift my spirit faster than most anything else. A few minutes of praise will remove the discouragement from my heart.
- “I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56:12-13) I can be thankful through all this because God has delivered me from death. God has provided salvation for me through Jesus. He has healed me from my sin which is my greatest disease. While I’m here on this earth I am blessed to walk in His light. I am not stumbling around in darkness. God be praised!
There is nothing God can not handle or heal. He is able to do miracles in and through His people. He is showing me that His plans are better than mine. Sometimes they are harder, but they are always better. I pray that you will trust God with whatever you are facing today. I pray you will immerse yourself in His word and that you will not stumble as you walk in His light.