When the darkness is finally lifted, how will you reflect back on God?
David’s lengthy dark period of being chased, frightened, and anxious had finally ended. David’s heart overflowed with gratefulness for God’s protection, provision, strength, and deliverance. Psalm 18 is an incredibly descriptive song written by David on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of Saul and other enemies.
During the darkness, David wholeheartedly sought God as his secret hiding place. As a result, he knew specific attributes of God intimately. Psalm 18 contains his overflowing praise sung directly to God from a heart that privately knew God.
As you read through the following list of God’s attributes, note that these are not just in theory; David personally experienced each of these qualities during his period of darkness. My desire for you, friend, is that during your difficult journey you will seek to know God and will be moved by the personal, tender loving care and provision of God in your life… just like you see in David’s list.
DAVID’S GRATEFUL RETROSPECT.
- “I love you.” For being able to cling to God with all of his heart
- My strength. Unchanging, eternal confidence, support.
- My rock. Stability.
- My fortress. The security of God as his hiding place
- My deliverer. Rescuer. Lifter of the clouds in his perfect timing and method.
- My God. He knows God intimately.
- In whom I will take refuge. His protection was in God.
- In whom I will trust. His choice of faith in God produced a precious relationship.
- My shield. Protector from danger enemies.
- The horn of my salvation. Ability to triumph over foes.
- My stronghold. A place of exceptional security.
- Worthy to be praised. God’s sovereignty is always worth trusting.
- Can go to in my distress. Confidently take personal woes to God.
- Heard my voice. Knows his voice and is attentive to his heart’s concerns.
- Made darkness his secret hiding place. God was with him sustaining him throughout it all.
- Protector. The mighty guard and his safe place.
- Rescuer. God’s plan for deliverance is perfect and can be trusted.
- “He came swiftly on the wings of the wind…” Powers of nature are subservient to God.
- Darkness was His covering… He could run to the Secret hiding place of the invisible, but working God.
- Thundered from heaven… Vengeance is God’s.
- Hailstones and coals… Display of God’s power and the safety with Him as protector.
- Foundations of world were laid bare at your rebuke… Power of God as Creator with just his spoken word.
- He sent from above… The deliverance is marvelous and heavenly.
- Rescued me from enemy and those who hated me…God protected him from those who were too mighty for him.
- My support. His lifeline when confronted by enemies.
- He brought me into a broad place… Sweet is pleasure after pain.
- He delivered me because he delighted in me. The uncanny understanding that the painful times showed the depth of God’s love.
- Just judge. God deals according to his righteousness
- Rewarder. God rewards according to holiness.
- Savior of the humble. Comforting assurance that man cannot save himself, only God can save them.
- Lighter of my lamp. The Lord’s presence removes all of the gloom in the distressing darkness.
- By You, I can run against a troop…leap over a wall…” Confidence in God’s plan to do beyond his own capabilities.
- My God. His personal love and friendship with God.
- His way is perfect. All actions of God are complete – with justice and mercy put together in harmony.
- Word of the Lord is proven. He finds no discrepancy in God’s promises.
- Shield to all who trust Him. Better than armor is the protection and peace of God himself.
- “Who is God, except the Lord?” Perfect in every attribute and action.
- “Who is a rock, except our God?” Stability, strength, rest, and refuge.
- God arms me with strength. God’s power gives courage to the feeble.
- God makes my way perfect. When obeying God’s plan, success is the outcome.
- “He sets my feet like the feet of deer..” Swiftness from the favor of God.
- “He sets me on my high places.” Mercy to stand strong in slippery, dangerous places.
- “He teaches my hand to make war.” David’s ability to fight were not natural, but direct gifts from God as needed.
- “…my arm can bend a bow of bronze.” Given unnatural strength when needed.
- “You have given me the shield of Your salvation.” Direct gift from God with the protection from Satan’s fiery darts.
- “Your right hand has held me up.” God’s personal support that holds us.
- “Your gentleness has made me great.” David credits any and all of his greatness to God’s kindness.
- “You enlarged my path… my feet did not slip…” God’s faithfulness to keep him from slipping.
- “You delivered me from strife with the people.” Grateful for unity.
- “You made me head…and people serve me..” God’s plan includes exalting those who endure blameless.
- “As soon as they hear of me they obey.” In God’s justice, He makes the humble great.
- “The Lord lives.” David knew God to be alive and powerful from his personal relationship with him.
- “Blessed be my Rock.” Deep gratitude to God as THE source of all strength and stability.
- “Great deliverance..” His place of prominence was from the Lord, not his desire for power.
- Steadfast love. Mercy unending and never failing.
We all can identify with painful periods of uncertainty. Yet, only some are able to reflect back as David did, and rejoice at the mighty attributes of God.
Facing difficulty for many believers is no different than that of the non-believer. They kick and scream, complain and blame, are anxious and consumed with worry. They lack communion and dependency on God. They miss the privilege of entering His secret hiding place during their darkness and the opportunity to personally experience unexplainable peace during hardships. When the crisis has ended, they are the same. Gone is that opportunity to know God more, to prove their faith is genuine, and lost is that specific chance to proclaim Him in the midst of it.
Those who fervently seek God during suffering will know Him will see differently through it. They have tender hearts, keenly aware of God’s loving care and provision. They have a rich, precious, trusting relationship with Christ. Their praise is not just idle words but is intimate and sung heartily to the Lord.
A grateful retrospect is what you’ll have when your aim in darkness is to know God.
Dear Lord, I pray for ____ . May he fervently seek you during darkness. May spiritual maturity take place in him as he resolves to trust you through it. May each concern of his heart be shared with you and exchanged for your character. With grateful retrospect may he be in awe of you and praise you.
Rhonda usethispsalmtoencouragefriendsintoughtimes ellis