Human nature is a fickle thing. When things go bad, people look around for someone or something to blame. The final excuse is, “The devil made me do it!” However, when things go good, the reason is obviously good planning and leadership. One of the reasons that David was so special In God’s sight, was the fact that he did not fall into that trap. “I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.” Yes, when “good times” arrived, David knew where that blessing came from, and he gave credit where credit was due.
Today, Christians need to reflect the attitude David demonstrated in Psalm 30. Think about your prayer life. How many prayers do you pray for comfort or help? How many prayers are simply a “Thank you” for what God has given you? Obviously, there is nothing wrong with prayers for help and comfort. Our Lord knows that life is to be a task and not a vacation. He wants us to depend upon Him in all matters in our lives; however, it is as important to pray when we are on the mountaintops as well as in the valleys of life.
The importance of prayers of thanksgiving is not to be taken lightly. Life has tragically shown that times of prosperity and happiness often lead to a drifting away from a relationship with the Lord. That fact is clearly documented in the history of Israel in the Old Testament period. In the United States, people tend to turn to God in times of trial. After 9-11, many churches were filled with people. Then, as life settled back down, those same people went back to a life without much concern for God.
Prayers of thanksgiving can prevent the danger of drifting away. Such prayers help the Lord’s people keep the proper perspective. Often human nature says’ “Look what I’ve done!” But the soul in prayer says, “Thank you Lord for without You I am lost and helpless”.
David had experienced many days, years, of hardship in his life. Yet, even in those times, he understood their importance when measured against his relationship with God. In verse 5 David wrote, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
It is absolutely critical for Christians to keep the events and experiences of this life in perspective. This life is temporary. Yet, people can become so focused on the issues of this life, this country, and this world, that faith and hope are gradually squeezed out. Jesus made this very clear in his parable of the sower where He warned that the anxieties of life and the deceitfulness of riches can choke out the Spirit. The “now” should never take priority over the “eternal”
David went one step further in verse 6. “When I felt secure, I said, ‘I will never be shaken’.” David knew the lie contained in that thought. At the height of his popularity and reign came his sin with Bathsheba. Satan used the “good times” of David’s life to entice him into adultery and murder.
The warning in David’s words needs to be heeded by every Christian. There is no time when a Christian can say “I’m home free – no more troubles for me!” At that point of worldly pride, Satan will be there to pull that person down. Paul wrote that Christians must ALWAYS be on the alert. The danger of complacency is too real. When Peter was with Jesus Christ, he bragged that he would die for him. Yet, when he was alone in the midst of strangers and enemies, Peter’s courage failed him and he denied the Lord three times.
At times Christians have received word of a brother or sister in Christ has done something so incredible and shocking that people could not believe that it happened. “How could he or she do that? They seemed to be so faithful.” David, Peter and many others could explain “how” such things happen. Once the guard is relaxed, Satan, like a lion, pounces and that seemingly secure life of faith is suddenly thrown into a desperate battle of survival.
The safety of every Christian rests in the Lord. The Lord is a wall, a fortress, a refuge, and a shield. Be thankful for that protection. Express it in prayer, and know that our faith is secure only in our Lord Jesus Christ.