Psalm 54:7 For he has delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.
The introduction to this Psalm indicates it was written when David was in yet another really tight spot. That leaves us with the question of whether this verse is referring to past times the Lord had delivered David, or whether it is a faith declaration of what God was about to do. In either case, the focus is on God and His power, and not on how clever or strong David is. When we pray it is helpful to remember all the times God has answered prayer, or even acted before we prayed, (Isaiah 65:24) to bolster our faith and give us anticipation of what He might do this time. Prayer is hardly a deterministic system, where if you do A, then B will always happen. It is far more wonderful and powerful than that, because it isn’t limited by our perceptions or intellect. That’s all the more reason to be careful our prayers are focused on God, and not on ourselves or our circumstances. Joy Dawson very wisely said that to hear clearly from God, we need to die to the issue about which we are praying. By that she meant that we need to surrender our judgment, our desires, to God, trusting fully that He knows the end from the beginning and He desires the very best for us. Sometimes we get ourselves into situations where the way out, even, is quite painful, and of course, Jesus cautioned us that in this world we will have trouble, regardless. (John 16:33) However, we need to rest in the assurance Paul had, that “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) We will come to that assurance only when we get our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances and fix them on Christ Jesus our Lord. (Hebrews 12:2)
This certainly applies to me, as I have learned through sometimes painful experience. I have had prayers answered instantly, I have had them answered over time, and I have had prayers receive a rather firm, “No.” I need to thank God for every one of those, and not just the “quick answer” type. I need to trust God enough to ask, seek, and knock, (Matthew 7:7-8) trusting that however God answers, it will be the best thing for me, whether it’s what I expected, or desired, or not. (Matthew 7:9-11) And actually, I need to rejoice and thank Him before I know what the answer will be. I’m reminded of the story of a Bible smuggler into eastern Europe before the fall of the Soviet Union. He was in a room with a row of tables across the middle for customs inspection, and he had a suitcase of “contraband” Bibles. It came his turn, and the customs agent opened his suitcase, seemed oblivious to all the Bibles, closed it up and sent him on. As he moved to the other side of the room with his bag he was naturally rejoicing, but then he heard God say to him, “You’re doing that on the wrong side of the room.” In other words, he should have been rejoicing before the customs agent opened his bag. I don’t have that kind of faith consistently yet, but I would sure like to! However, I’ve moved a long way in that direction, and my peace and joy continue to grow.
Father, thank You for Your incredible faithfulness. Thank You for the countless times You have met my needs far better than I could have specified, and often better than I was asking. I am faced with challenges daily, but You already have it all worked out. Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in that assurance, just as You have told me to do, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!