David’s trust in God as his Protector and Deliverer enabled him to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties. When his son Absalom became his greatest enemy (2 Sam. 15-18), David turned to God for encouragement. Psalm three is a lament for the increased troubles and discouragement of the deposed king (Psa. 3:1, 2; cf. 2 Sam. 16:7, 8). But David’s lament turns to praise as his trust in God lifts him above one of the darkest hours of his life.
From Psalm 3:3, we learn that David’s trust enabled him to acknowledge God as his Protector, glory, and pride:
“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
The remainder of this psalm expresses the encouragement David finds in prayer to the God he trusts.
David begins his prayer with a confidence that God will hear: “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah” (Psa. 3:4). The faithful of God have an abiding assurance that God will hear both their praise and their plea (Ps. 34:15; Prov 15:29; 1 Pt. 3:12). In truth, the Lord is not simply attentive to the prayers of His children, but delights in their supplications (Prov. 15:8; cf. 1 Kgs. 3:10; Ps. 141:2).
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7).
God will neither hide His face, nor turn His ear from a confident trust expressed in prayer: “he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (Psa. 18:6; cf. 22:24).
David’s confidence in God’s attentiveness provided a calmness to face uncertain times: “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me” (Psa. 3:5). Those who trust in the Lord enjoy a “peace that passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Such peace comforts and reassures in hours of trials. The psalmist affirmed: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psa. 23:4). Paul noted that Christians have “access with confidence” by a trusting faith (Eph. 3:12). And John instructed, “this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (1 Jn. 5:14). Solomon penned, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge” (Prov. 14:26). Trust and confidence expressed in prayer provide peace during times of trouble.
Trusting in God’s salvation, David found the courage to face seemingly impossible odds:
“I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah” (Psa. 3:6-8).
Like David, we may find that those of our own house become our enemies (Lk. 12:52, 53). When one lives ac-cording to the truth he is often opposed by his fellows (Gal. 4:16) and forsaken by his friends, especially when difficulties arise (2 Tim. 4:16). Nevertheless, in prayer to the God of our salvation, we find the confidence, calm, and courage to persevere.
In praise to God, the psalmist sang:
“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore” (Psa. 105:1-4).
What encouragement can be found when we seek the Lord in prayer!