King David equipped himself through challenging circumstances by writing psalms that described his challenges, ascribed greatness to God, and prescribed his soul to raise a banner of faith in the midst of difficult trials.
Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brothers. 1 Chronicles 16:7 (ESV)
The Israelites Moses led out of a slave ridden Egypt became an infamous people. Not because of their strong faith and belief in God, but because of their persistent unbelief and insistent fear. They were a people whom God fiercely loved, had chosen, and promised an incredible inheritance to that would continue to bless their families for future generations to come. Miracle after miracle, God proved His sworn oath to make good on His promise of a prosperous future; whether it was parting a deep sea, daily raining down manna from thin air, or turning bitter water into sweet hydration, the Lord never backed down on His promise to deliver the Israelites to the land He had picked out personally for them (Deut. 26:3; 28:11). The best real estate the Middle East had to offer was theirs for the taking if they would only believe.
Unfortunately, we know that same generation of God’s chosen people never made it to their promise land and died a faithless death in the desert. Their negative self-prophesying eventually tested God past the point of no return. Eventually they were left to their own death sentence, and God took the few who still trusted Him into the Promised Land many decades later. In reality, the delivered Israelites were free, wealthy with Egyptian gold, and had the power of God on their side, but their minds remained imprisoned to slavery. Whenever a tough circumstance arose, their immediate default reaction was to assume God had abandoned the plan and left them for dead (Deuteronomy 1:26-27).
“If you have the heart of a free person but the mind of slave you will not live as an overcomer.” -Greg Haswell
King David wielded a different approach when faced with difficult circumstances, which he definitely had plenty of. David voiced his fears and worries, just like the Israelites in the desert, but he didn’t allow his soul to stay downcast. He was very intentional about bringing his fears and concerns before God, but he was also very intentional in placing his hope once again in the goodness of the Lord. He was so adamant about this type of worship that he even appointed Psalms to be offered as a type of spiritual sacrifice. When faced with life’s challenges, David often took pen to paper, his surefire antidote for combating fear and discouragement. The psalmist weaved a consistent pattern of describing his heart’s concerns to god, ascribing glory to God, and prescribing a new direction to his own soul (Ps. 29:1) This pattern of describe, ascribe, and prescribe can be found repeatedly throughout the psalms. Writing a psalm can be a powerful tool in our toolbox when we need to decapitate a fear swiftly that would love to tangle up our hearts with weeds of unbelief.
David found great victory time and time again because he continually fought to pour out his heart to the Lord, give glory to the greatness of God, and place his soul under the truth and steering of the Holy Spirit.
We are all faced with difficult trials in this life and are presented with obstacles that require us to step into the arena of faith. Jesus was very clear about the troubles we will encounter during our time here on Earth (John 16:33). The question is what type of strategy will you default to? The Israelite’s strategy of unbelief left them empty handed in a desolate desert. But our other option is to write a new song, like that of King David, one of truth, faith, and lyrical beauty that stands on an eternal testimony that God is on our side.
Lord Jesus, help me to develop the discipline of ascribing greatness to your name and standing on the truth of your word and promises when my faith is tested. You are wildly generous in your love towards me. Guide me to sing a steady song of faith in my life just as David appointed over Israel. Help me to build my confidence on the truth of your word and the amazing testimonies of goodness you have already brought forth. I pray my heart would be like that of King David’s, lifting my praise as a weapon to destroy lies, fears, and unbelief. Amen.