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Family Matters 02/20/17

Building Resiliency through Psalm 56

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Why is it that some people fall apart when adversity hits and others seem to bounce back? Moreover, they become stronger and grow from life challenges. David was being tormented by King Saul, but found a way to move forward. Here's what he did:

In Psalm 56, David is on the run from the Philistines and is fearful of King Saul who also wants to kill him. Talk about high stress and adversity!

Given the circumstances, David complains to God while battling fear, anger and feelings of vengeance. He begs God for mercy and wants justice to be done to his enemies. In verse 7, he asks if God is going to do anything about his oppressors. Basically, he says, "Are you OK with those who come after your people? Isn't it time to bring justice to these evil doers who twist my words and put a target on my back?"

Can we just thank David for his honesty? He says what most of us would be feeling. He is honest with God.

As the passage continues, we see a change in David's perspective and focus. In verse 3, David says, "In God I will put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?" Instead of focusing on those who oppress him, David changes his focus from his circumstances to a trustworthy God. In verse 11, he reaffirms this renewed perspective, "In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

When we face trials and adversity, do we trust God like David did? Do we remember what David said in verse 9? "When I cry out to you, then my enemies will turn back. This I know because GOD IS FOR ME."

Finally, do we hang on to hope in the midst of the trial, knowing that God sees our pain? Verse 8 tells us that God's eyes are on us, "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?" God keeps track of our grievances and will do justice to them one day.

David's hope in God is then expressed in praise. "I will render praises to You. For you have delivered my soul from death. Have you not kept my feet from falling? That I might walk before God in the light of the living." At this point, David was still hiding in the cave, pursued by his enemies, but chose to praise God for his faithfulness and trustworthiness.

How did David build resiliency? He was honest with his emotions, changed his perspective from fear to optimism and held on to hope in the middle of adversity -- a prescription we can all apply to times of trial and fear. Remember, God is for you!

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