Where did David’s courage come from?


David wrote this Psalm while he was being persecuted by Saul, who was seeking to kill him. David’s friends told him to escape this danger by fleeing like a bird to a mountain. But, David when tempted to distrust God in a frightening crisis, recognized their advice to be cowardly. He knew running was taking matters into his own hands and ultimately distrusting God. So where did David’s courage come from? He personally knew God to be righteous and ruler over all things; He knew nothing could be done that God did not permit. As David placed his trust firmly in God time after time, his confidence in God grew. He faced fear head on; he chose courage over cowardice. Enduring over fleeing.


The source of David’s courage was declared in the first verse, “In the Lord I take refuge.” His safety came in choosing to trust God’s way over his way. He also said, “The Lord tests the righteous,” and saw this danger as an opportunity to prove his faith was genuine. David knew blessings resulted from endurance.



“Your son has cancer,” are words no one wants to hear. But a year ago, I did. Although all the normal range of emotions were there, the one that is my strongest memory is telling the Lord, “Okay, you’ve got this. Cancer is THE tool you’ve chosen to use in our lives right now. Do what you want to do in our lives so that we more fully know you. I trust you.. no matter.”


I know that sounds completely crazy, but the spiritual maturity from previous crises gave me eyes to see this through a different lens. My faith in previous seasons of struggling grew and grew as I continually exchanged my fear for the peace found in trusting Him. My desire to fix and control and know the outcome continued to be a stronghold that would pop up – and as I recognized this as distrust, I would exhale this and inhale the safety of abiding and trusting in Him. Each experience proved he is worthy to be trusted. I knew God would do beautiful things in us through this “gift” called cancer. I absolutely knew God could be trusted and was up to good, no matter the results.

This photo was actually taken as the doctor was giving us the diagnosis. I snapped this photo (trying to be incognito with the phone on my lap) to be a record, marking the start of a journey through the unknown that reveals God’s faithfulness and brings forth much fruit in Daniel’s life (as well as mine and those close to him.) At this point, I had learned to expect incredibly amazing things to result in seasons of suffering. I’ve only shared a snippet of the #danielkickscancer journey in this post, but you can read more on my blog. But, for he sake of bringing a little closure to those who don’t know the rest of the story – Daniel is 22, in remission, recently married – and most importantly walked through this with the mindset to completely trust God and know Him more. He didn’t waste this crisis. This gift called cancer was an incredible blessing that increased his faith.


The photo at the top is Daniel standing by his own photo on the construction site for the new MDAnderson Cancer Treatment Center in Jacksonville, Florida.


Are you in a crisis that you want removed from you?  Are friends encouraging cowardice actions?  Like we see in this Psalm, God is calling us to confidently trust in him, to endure and be changed through the crisis. He wants you to face the problem through spiritual lens and trust the work he is doing in your life and heart. Your difficulty is a gift to know Him more fully and be changed.



Dear Lord, I pray for ____ (specific child, friend, spouse, self) to be courageous like David when facing a crisis. May his courage come from knowing that you know all, see all, and that nothing happens that you do not permit. May he see with spiritual lens, recognizing you are at work in his heart and see this as an opportunity to prove his faith genuine. May he not be tempted to distrust, but approach hardships with endurance and be a life continually refined in your image. May he say to you, “In the Lord, I take refuge.”


Rhonda whatablessingtofindsafetyinGodasourrefuge ellis