Tuesday, April 18, 2023
O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
Very few followers of Jesus make it through life without being unfairly attacked, ridiculed, hounded, slandered, or abused. Jesus warned us that if people did these things to Him, our Savior and Lord, they would do it to us.  The apostles were unfairly treated yet considered it an honor to be persecuted as Jesus had been.  Paul warned his trainee, Timothy, that the godly would go through hardship and abuse.  So, what do we do? What can we learn from David as he faced a dangerous and difficult time at the hands of the Philistines? 
David placed his faith in God. He proclaimed that he trusted in God. By faith, David declared that God was always with him and would not abandon him.  He openly shared his problems with God in prayer and song. He refused to fear because he trusted the Lord, the Eternal One. At the same time, David prayed and begged God to have mercy on him in his time of distress. David also reminded himself that the Lord, the Eternal, was God, and those who opposed him were mere mortals. All of this  allowed David — and if we follow his lead, will allow us — to stand in the face of great opposition, attack, ridicule, unfairness, and slander.
This confidence that David had in God leads him to finish the psalm we have as our verse today with these words of assurance and confidence in deliverance:
For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. 
David's confidence anticipated the declaration of the apostle Paul when he was under threat and persecution:
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
Almighty God, I trust in you. You alone can deliver me from those who oppose, attack, and belittle me. I have trusted You because I have seen Your faithfulness to Your promises and people. When I begin to be afraid, I pour my heart to You and remember that You are God, the Eternal One, and those seeking to wound and destroy me are mere mortals. So, dear Father, please deliver me, for I trust you! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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