God is sovereign, wise, loving, and good.
That’s probably not news to you. If you were to list some of God’s attributes, these are probably some of the first that come to mind. But I think it’s easy to miss what this means for us as we come to the Lord in prayer with the burdens and concerns of life. When we know and believe that these specific attributes are true of God and that He encompasses all of them completely and perfectly there’s great peace for our hearts.
As I reflect on biblical characters who poured out their hearts – their worries, concerns, fears, and joy – to God, David is one who quickly comes to mind. David had many reasons to crumble under the weight of trials and the weariness of life. As David is fleeing Jerusalem and his enemies, 2 Samuel records that David wept as he went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, barefoot and with his head covered (15:30). David was mourning and filled with grief and sorrow. Psalm 3 is said to be a description of the events in 2 Samuel 15 and 16. In the first verse of Psalm 3, we see David cry out to the Lord, many were his foes and they were rising against him. We could easily spend so much time just looking at David’s life and circumstances, but let’s look instead at his trust in God that powerfully comes through in his prayers.
David cries out to the Lord resting in his faithfulness. David can trust him because God is and has always been the lifter of his head (3). He cries out to the Lord and the Lord answers him (4). He falls asleep securely, not secure in himself, but because the Lord is his sustainer (5). And because he knows the faithfulness and character of God, he was not afraid (6). He can rest and trust God because salvation belongs to him—his enemies are powerless compared to the sovereign, good, almighty God (2, 7).
Psalm 4, which may or may not be connected to Psalm 3, gives us a picture of what it looks like to quietly trust the Lord. However when we read this Psalm, we can’t deny that there is a great significance to praying and calling out to the Lord. When we are distressed, we ought not to fret, rather we should call out to God who hears our prayer (1). When wronged, we are to quiet our hearts and minds and trust in the Lord (4, 5). And David did just that. Though his foes were many and it seemed everything and everyone was against him, he knew that God was for him, in control and all-powerful. So, David slept in peace because he knew that in God he was safe (8).
There is much in the Psalms 3 and 4 that we could reflect on regarding why God is worthy of our prayers and trust. But one theme I see is that the Psalmist would recall and remember the works of the Lord (Psalm 3: 4, 5; 4: 1). There isn’t a trial that I look back on where I don’t see the faithfulness of God. David models this as he looks back and remembers God. When we fall to our knees in prayer, let us remember how God has been faithful to us. He has never failed us—it’s not possible. We can trust God because he is God, but we can also trust God because in His kindness to us, He has proven Himself to be faithful.
Do you lie in bed anxious about a certain circumstance? What’s keeping you up at night and your mind preoccupied? Ask yourself at those moments, Soul: Are you trusting God and if not, can you? Then recall all the ways the Lord has been faithful to you. He’s not going to bail out now—He sent His son for you. God is in it for the long haul, his faithfulness lasts forever. If God is for you, who or what can be against you? Nothing. He is worthy of your trust, so go to him freely and often. Ask him to give you peace and rest in the sovereign, wise, loving, good, and faithful One.