The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.
–1 Samuel 17:37
One way to erect the shield of faith is to remember God’s past faithfulness.
If you read through the Psalms, you will discover that David battled with worry. In many of his psalms, you can feel his anxiety. For example, David wrote Psalm 3 when his son Absalom was building a rebellion against him. In Psalm 3:1-2, David wrote, “O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no deliverance for him in God.’” Then notice his change of mind, starting in verse 3: “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.” How do you account for his attitude change between verses 2 and 3? David remembered God’s past faithfulness. He said, “The same God who delivered me in the past will deliver me from this.” David had a history of focusing on the past faithfulness of God. Years earlier, when David confronted Goliath, he said in 1 Samuel 17:37, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” David was saying, “God miraculously delivered me from lions and bears. And He will take care of me today.” Years later, the same David, much older, feared what his son Absalom would do to him. So he said, “The same God who delivered me from the lions and the bears and the giant Goliath, He will take care of me today.” Remember God’s past faithfulness. Think of some milestone events in your life when God intervened, when something happened to deliver you out of a predicament that can only be explained by the power of God.
How do you choose faith over worry? Remain in contact with God. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Remaining in contact with God means talking to God about what is on your heart and meditating on God’s Word. When you let your mind dwell on God’s unchanging truth, it causes worry to flee from your life. Why? Because the Bible is a reminder that God never changes. The Bible is a record of God’s past dealings with His people, and when we read these accounts, we are reminded that God is able to take care of us. That is why Paul said in verse 9, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Prayer, talking to God, and meditating on Scripture freed Paul from many anxious moments while he was in prison. And that same peace of God is available to you when you choose faith over worry.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Faith over Worry” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.