Today you should read: Psalm 56
Preach truth to yourself . . . and choose to believe it
In the ESV, the title of today’s Psalm is, “In God I Trust.” I think that this title is more than fitting, but what is interesting about this psalm is that this is not a “feeling” of trust. It is far more; it is a choice.
At first glance, this psalm has a flavor of distress and hopelessness. But look deeper, because hope is all throughout this thing. It comes from conscious truth, not subjective and circumstantial feelings.
Behind the scenes: This psalm is said to be of David in his distress of the Philistines. Verses 1-4 describe the circumstances that are surrounding him, yet in 3 and 4 he sets his mind on the right response. In verse 4 he is talking. Who is he talking to? He is talking to God and to himself, he tells himself truth.
In verses 5-7, he goes on to describe his situation. David’s opponents seem to be not only the Philistines but all who oppose good.
Verses 8-11 are big-time; this is where the truth really sets in. Why isn’t David overcome with anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and irrational thoughts? The answer is because of these verses. He knows the truth regardless of subjective feelings. This is where I want to land today.
“Have you realized,” preacher David Martyn Lloyd-Jones once observed, “that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?” These are the opening words of chapter 5 in C.J. Mahaney’s, “The Cross Centered Life.” The chapter is titled, What You Feel vs. What Is Real. C.J. goes on to explain what a typical day looks like, and from the moment you wake up, someone is talking: your mind. The problem is that most of your thoughts are not coming from objective truth. Can you relate? Is most of your unhappiness and fear due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Let me explain what I mean.
This is what is being done here in Psalm 56. Yes, this psalm is to God, but it’s also to us and to himself. He is in a bad predicament; death is chasing him, but look at his words in verses 9 -11: “this I know, that God is for 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?” Can you see it? He is speaking truth in the midst of his troubles.
Are you in Christ, covered with His righteousness? Then God is for you; you are not His enemy. He will take care of you. God’s commitment to you is not based on your good works or your circumstances; it is based on the merit of Christ’s work on the cross. So it is finished! No matter your circumstance, preach this truth to yourself. It could look like this, “Yes, this is a tough situation and I am fearful because of it, but I am a child of God. Christ died for my sins. God is for me. I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? What can any situation do to me? The gospel exists independently of me, therefore I will believe it and cling to it.” Believe truth,church, and live by it.
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione