My life is filled with unknowns. For instance, who will be my husband’s ministry successor, and when will he walk into the picture? How long will Sailor-Man and I live on our sailboat? What will life look like when we no longer work fulltime?
We all face unknowns. Some of them are small and insignificant. Some bear medium concern. But others? Others matter a great deal.
We’re all in the same boat these days. No one knows what the world’s future holds. We don’t even know what the next hour might bring let alone what our lives will look like a month or a year from now.
That sounds a bit unsettling, doesn’t it? But don’t be discouraged.
In the midst of unknowns, there’s one thing we know for sure: God is on our side. We might wonder sometimes, especially on those days when everything seems to go wrong. The car dies, a kitchen pipe bursts, and the kids get sick.
David experienced trouble
The psalmist had his share of days like that. King Saul was hunting him, and the Philistines were after him. People were slandering him and trying to kill him.
David faced relentless pressure. According to his words in Psalm 56:1-2, the attacks just kept coming. “O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me.”
David had no time to stop and catch his breath, to regroup and prepare for the next onslaught. How easy it would be for him to assume that God had turned His back toward him, but he didn’t go there.
Instead, David admitted his fear and then declared, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 56:3-4) He closed his prayer with this declaration of faith: “My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side!” (Psalm 56:9)
David knew God was on his side
David didn’t know how his future would turn out, but he knew it would be okay because God was on his side. How was he so sure?
First—he knew God was on his side because he’d experienced His protection and power in the past. God had helped him kill lions and bears while guarding his father’s sheep. He’d also helped David take out the giant Goliath with one well-aimed stone. So, while David didn’t know what tactics his enemies would try next or how long their attacks would last, he knew God was big enough to thwart their efforts.
Second, David knew God was on his side because he understood His love. He said, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
If God wasn’t on David’s side, He wouldn’t care about his sorrow or tears. He wouldn’t demonstrate compassion or comfort or kindness. But David understood God’s love, therefore he knew God was FOR him and not against him.
Third, David knew God was on his side because he knew God’s word. Three times in Psalm 56, he wrote, “I praise Your word.” His confidence in God’s ability and willingness to help him came from knowing the truth about who God declared Himself to be and the promises He’d made to His people.
God is on our side, too
As followers of Christ today, we, too, can know that God is on our side. When things go wrong and it feels like life itself is against us, let’s recall past experiences in which we’ve seen His power and provision and protection at work on our behalf. He was on our side then, and He’s still on our side. He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
We can know God is on our side by understanding His love for us. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay our penalty for sin and make a way for us to enjoy restored relationship with Him. Think about that. God did the most difficult thing EVER for our sake, and He did it from love.
And we can know God is on our side by knowing His word. The truth of who He is, what He’s done on our behalf, and the multitude of promises He’s made to help us flourish and keep hope alive all evidence the truth that He is for us. When we trust in God who is 100% behind us, we have no reason to fear the unknowns.
May I pray for you?
“God, thank You for the many ways You show us that You are on our side. Help us take these things to heart as David did. Help us remain steadfast in the truth when we face a multitude of unknowns especially those of huge magnitude. We know that in this life we will face trouble, but we know You are on our side. Help us trust and not be afraid. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Photo courtesy of Eszter Miller