1 O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might.
2 O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers[b] have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah
4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5 He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
It took me a minute to realize what was happening. These guys, although they had smiling faces, did not have my best interests at heart. After luring me outside, they circled around me. It was in that moment I experienced, likely for the first time, my fight or flight response. Seeing as how my 3rd degree white belt was covered by dust in my closet at home, I swiftly chose flight! I ran down the street as fast as my scrawny legs would carry me, turning the first corner and the next down an alley behind the house I was visiting. I could hear them laughing behind me, but they were not nearly as motivated as I. the distance grew between us. Although I didn’t know this neighborhood, I knew where to go for safety. I peeked over fences until I found the familiar blue trim of the house and crawled over the wooden peaks. Huffing and puffing, I calmly walked over to my mom and sat down. My fears went away. My pursuers scattered. I was safe.
The psalmist is certainly familiar with dangerous situations, brought on by his enemies. Psalm 54 seems to be one of those situations. “O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves.” (Psalm 54:1-3) Much like the other psalms of lament, there is serious cause for the psalmist’s concern. He proceeds to respond with the familiar pattern of calling upon God for help. “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.” (Psalm 54:4-5)
We would do well to adopt this pattern for dealing with those who trouble us. It is much easier to complain about those who try our patience or seek to tear us down, but does that accomplish anything? It is far better to remember the fact that God is our helper. This is not to say that God will step in and remove the difficulties and challenging people from our life. Rather, He provides the tools we need to move forward despite those things. Remember Paul’s words in Philippians 4, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:10-13)
Today, remember that God is the one who grants you strength to weather the worst of storms and most difficult of relationships. Spend time with Him, be close with Him, and experience His blessings of peace, comfort, and contentedness all the more. Cling to His side when you are afraid and hurting; He will never leave you or forsake you.
Prayer for today: Lord God, thank You for Your blessings of peace and comfort. Thank You for giving us what we need to move forward in this life, despite the difficulties we surely face. Help us to know that we can always rely on You and run to You when we are in trouble. We love You, Lord. Amen.