July 8, 2013

Rest in God's Faithfulness

Psalm 54:6

As David's lament (Psalm 54) over the grind of difficult people draws to a close, he turns from bitter resentment to find rest in God's faithfulness. David has named his enemies and acknowledged their sins, and he has surrendered his right to justice, placing them in God's hands. As a result, David finds peace. The tension of "Destroy them in Your faithfulness" (54:5) gives way to the tranquility of "Willingly I will sacrifice to You" (54:6). He has discovered the serenity of letting God be God.

Surrender

Willingly I will sacrifice to You;
I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good. (54:6)

The concept of surrender is difficult to grasp in our culture. It's easily confused with "giving up" and carries the implication that we're accepting defeat. That's because we typically think of surrender in terms of warfare, in which one side concedes defeat to an enemy. In the case of God, however, we're surrendering to our ally! While His ways are inscrutable, too lofty and complex to understand (Isaiah 55:8–9), He is, nonetheless, for us. He's on our side. Therefore, we take a giant leap forward in dealing with difficult people when we say, "Thank You, Lord, for this painful experience of being maligned, misunderstood, and mistreated." David finally reached this point. He was able to give thanks to God, even in the midst of ongoing personal strife.

Let me point out that David did not live in denial. He didn't try to manufacture good feelings about his enemies. He didn't whitewash their sins or glibly excuse their sinfulness. Nor did he retaliate. He chose to focus on God's faithfulness instead. Rather than allow his mind to be consumed by the wrongdoing of others, their terrible motives, and his own imagination of God's justice coming down upon them, David devoted himself to worship. When he did this, he was able to say, "It is good," referring to God's name. David's trouble continued. His tormenters had not yet retreated. Still, he was able to declare the name and the deeds of God "good."

Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved. Used by permission.