(January 27, 2023) Brian Bell reminds us that in anxious times the Christian’s confidence is in our God…

I am taking a little poetic licence here in describing Psalm six by using this musical term, but it is also one of those psalms in which David mentions the name of stringed instruments to which the psalm should be accompanied.

Movement #1 (v1-5)
What often encourages me as I read the psalms is their honesty – I remind myself the words are spoken/written not in private prayer but for public worship in their context as songs, so they make honest references –

  • To weakness, pain (agony), sickness, helplessness (verses 2 and 3).
  • To help… ‘rescue me, save me’ (verse 4NLT).

Movement #2 (v 6-7)
David says, ‘I am worn out by sobbing, every night tears drench my bed, my pillow is wet from weeping….’

These words depict a man whose spirit is troubled. In these two verses David is showing anxiety and distress which can affect believer’s as much as anyone – we too are very human!

Anxiety is still common today – it is a recognised mental health condition which sometimes needs medical or professional help.

These words depict a man whose spirit is troubled. In these two verses David is showing anxiety and distress which can affect believer’s as much as anyone – we too are very human!

  • If this situation David describes is not something you have ever experienced then that is indeed cause to praise the Lord.
  • However, if you have shared in David’s anxious experience at some time in your past, I trust it is not presently troubling you.
  • But… if you are going through some anxiety, distress or any troubling experience at this time, I trust you will find the comfort that David knew his caring God could give him!

Movement #3 (v 8-10)
In the reality and honesty of David’s words in these verses he speaks about his confidence in his Lord! He boldly declares that the Lord –

  • Has heard my crying!
  • Has heard my plea!
  • Will answer my prayer!

Yes, even in David’s anxious mind-set he was able to confidently look to the Lord. And that is a good example for us. In Psalm 118:8 we are told that ‘It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people.’

Now, as we go through life, we know there is a need to place some measure of confidence in people – such as those in the medical profession! For believers, while we try to live diligently and responsibility such as I just indicated – but first and foremost we do so entrusting ourselves to the Lord! He must be our confidence!

No one can deny, as Robert McQuillan reminded us recently, these early weeks of 2023 are days of callings, changes and challenges (Link below).

As believers today, just like David we too need to keep our spiritual focus!

I have known experiences in my life which were challenging, difficult, when I felt helpless in myself.  I praise the Lord for Eveline, my faithful wife who has stood with me for almost 45 years, for faithful friends, confidants and other people – some who were not believers –  with whom I believe the Lord gave me favour and it is my testimony the Lord in His grace has brought me to where I am today.

Like David I look to the Lord for the current situations in my life and particularly our church family as it faces changes which it has not seen for more than a decade, the challenges that situation may present and the callings to which it may lead.

I was reminded again recently of those lovely words the Lord spoke through Jeremiah to His exiled people in Babylon who had been taken captive from Jerusalem. Let me remind you of the context, which is well set out in Psalm 137 –

  • They had lost past blessings, sitting by Babylon’s rivers, recalling Jerusalem and weaping.
  • They had lost hope and so discarded their instruments on tree branches.
  • They had lost their joy – ‘How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land’ (v4).

Into that situation we read the message God spoke to His discouraged people in that often-quoted Jeremiah 29:11, ‘I know the plans I have for you says the Lord … plans for good … to give you a future and a hope.’

My home church mid-week prayer gathering was held on Tuesday and during that time together we sang these words from Jocelyn Brown’s reassuring song –

‘I will praise the mighty name of Jesus praise the Lord the lifter of my head, praise the rock of my salvation all my days are in His faithful hands.’

Lord, please help me (all of us) to make this real in my daily experience, especially in those situations of life which prove a challenge to me and like David, to keep my confidence placed in you, Amen.

Brian Bell is a diaconate member, Christ Church (Congregational) Abbots Cross, Northern Ireland, and a volunteer with Disabled Christians Fellowship Ireland. Brian describes himself as ‘grateful for the privilege and opportunity given me to serve my Lord.’ Link:

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