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  • Writer's pictureBetty Dodge

In God I Trust (Psalm 56:3-4)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? —Psalm 56:3-4

The Book of Psalms is a book of poetry containing Israel’s prayers and worship songs. There are different kinds of psalms—psalms of thanksgiving, praise, wisdom, remembrance, celebration, and lament. There are more psalms of lament than any other category of psalms in the Bible.

Psalm 56 is a psalm of lament. David is pressed between Saul’s murderous pursuit of him and escape into the company of Israel’s fiercest enemy (1 Samuel 21:10-13). He is battling emotions of anguish, fear, and suffering and turns to God with a heartrending plea, “Be gracious to me, O God…” (Psalm 56:1)—earnest to conquer, not in his own strength but by trust in God.

David expresses fear for his very life, but he knows what God has said and he knows that God is trustworthy—“in God whose word I praise…in God I trust.” We enter into David’s battle to bring these emotions into submission to God’s will with reminders of God’s character:

  1. God is gracious. (Psalm 56:1)

  2. God is greater than any person or thing. (Psalm 56:3-4)

  3. God is intimately with David in his emotional state—“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle;” (Psalm 56:8)

  4. God created David and is sovereign over his life. “Are they not written in your book?” (Psalm 56:8)

  5. God is for David. “This I know, that God is for me.” (Psalm 56:9)

  6. God is the Deliverer from death. “For you have delivered my soul from death…” (Psalm 56:12-13)

  7. God is trustworthy. “…in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.” (Psalm 56:3-4, 10-11)

When we forget God, we will be subject to fear. Instead, bring to mind Psalm 56 and remember who God is, that He is more powerful than anything we fear.


For Reflection

  1. When you are afraid, do you turn and call upon God first? What has He promised if you will turn to Him? (See Psalm 23:4; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 118:5-7.)

  2. David’s fears were not unfounded—his life was being threatened by powerful men, yet his hope was in God. Can you think of fears you may have that are unfounded? How should you respond to unfounded fears?

  3. If we belong to God by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and are growing in our knowledge of Him, we will not be controlled by fear of what flesh can do to us. Will you place your trust in God and praise His word today? Write out your prayer of trust in God.

Recommended Resources

Portions of this devotional are taken from The Fighter Verses Discussion Guide–Set One, available at Truth78. For younger children consider When I Am Afraid by Sally Michael.


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