Psalm 56:3-4, 10-11

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Do you often feel that your life as a believer is a literal tug of war? A fierce battle between two opposing sides pulling against each other, trying to move a little red flag tied to the middle of life’s rope across a set line or goal?

Opposites are common place in life and part of the world in which we live. Peaks and valleys, peace and conflict, love and ill-will, good and evil, sin and grace.

For me, this season of life is an intense battle between the opposite of what I know to be true against that which I am feeling. And if I’m honest, it appears that little red flag tied to the rope of life is closer to the line of emotions than it is of truth.

Could David, when writing this psalm have had the same battle? He knew and spoke truth…In God he put his trust, in God he would not be afraid, in God’s Word he would praise. Yet, the opposite side was pulling on his emotions and feelings. He asks, “what can flesh do to me, what can man do to me?” The answer to those questions are, “a lot.” Flesh destroys, man can kill.

David had just been seized by the Philistines and was certain that they wanted him dead. He admits to the emotion of fear and being afraid, yet battled that fear with what he knew to be true; that the God of the universe can be trusted and praised even in the circumstances he found himself.

Instead of being led by his fear and giving in to his emotions by sinning and sacrificing truth, he used the emotions to guide him to the truth he so fully knew. His response to the tug on his emotions is a repetition of reminding himself that God sees his concern, feels his fear, and does not ignore his concern. God can be trusted.

If current circumstances find you in a tug of war, follow the guidelines outlined by David. Don’t be led by your emotions, be guided by them. Renew your mind with truth that says, “I might be anxious but God loves me, is my refuge, and can be trusted to carry out His will and plan for my life.”

Heavenly Father, we know that you do not get angry with us for having emotions and feelings for you gave us them. Yet so often, it is easy to be enslaved by those emotions and allow them to control us in ways that are not from you. As David laments in many of his Psalms, he reminds us to use those emotions to guide us to Truth, your Truth. Truth that you love us and will never forsake us and are the anchor and author of that Truth. In Jesus’s Precious Name. Amen.

Jeff Mottice