Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
For his steadfast love endures forever!
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
In his work, Commentary on Psalms Volume 4, John Calvin makes this introductory note:
At the time when this psalm was penned, whenever that was, David having attained to the possession of royal power, and aware that he reigned for the common safety of the Church, calls upon all the children of Abraham to ponder attentively this grace. He also recounts his dangers, the magnitude and variety of which would have slain him a hundred times, had not God wonderfully succored him. From this it is obvious that he came to the throne of the kingdom, neither by his own policy, nor by the favor of men, nor by any human means. At the same time, he informs us that he did not rashly or by wicked intrigues rush forward and take forcible possession of the kingdom of Saul, but that he was appointed and established king by God himself. Let us remember that it was the design of the Spirit, under the figure of this temporal kingdom, to describe the eternal and spiritual kingdom of God’s Son, even as David represented his person.
Reading through this Psalms for a morning devotion, the thought struck me: How have I turned to the Lord in the times of my distress? More importantly, How have I continued to follow him beyond my own trials? These two questions are important because it shows our character and devotion to God, or a lack of trusting in Him in all things.
Many times, we come to the throne of grace because of some form of distress. Seeking refuge from God, blessings, comfort, and dare to cast our burdens at the feet of Him. Yet, when we make it through the distressing season, we soon forget to seek after God. King David did not forget to seek after God. He followed God and walked with God each day of his life.
Living out an authentic Christian life is not merely following and seeking refuge from a Sovereign God when we are distressed for a season. It is an ongoing relationship where we learn to trust in God and gain confidence that no matter how the enemy surrounds us, we are able to take comfort in knowing God is on our side.
This is because Jesus Christ is the stone that the builders rejected and has become the chief cornerstone of our lives. Today, many reject Christ and the simple message of the Gospel. Yet, as we strive to live out the Gospel in our lives, it is through this active testimony that we will challenge the present thoughts and powers of our day and time.