Thinking about the trials and tests that lie ahead for God’s people, individually and collectively, I often find special inspiration and encouragement in reading the Psalms of David. I have found in these Psalms—again and again—powerfulexamples of the great faith that David exercised in so many of his own trials and tests. Often, we focus on his courage, bravery and commitment. But we may not fully connect these fine attributes with the remarkable faith of King David of Israel.
A vital part of David’s faith was that he constantly cultivated a very close, very personal and extremely heartfelt relationship with God. From his earliest years, David continually put God at the very center of his entire existence—and his thinking about virtually every facet of his life, no matter how big or how small. When David looked up at the stars, he thought about God: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3–4).
Often staying out in the open fields as a young shepherd, David was vividly aware of God’s creation. He meditated on the beauty, the power and the intricacy of the creation, worshiping and praising the great God who brought this about. We can picture David meditating: “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart. The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, where the birds make their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. The high hills are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers” (Psalm 104:14–18).
David’s Profound Awareness
David knew that God watches over and sustains His creation in a marvelous way: “He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down. You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. When the sun rises, they gather together and lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions” (Psalm 104:19–24).
Aware that even his own body was carefully fashioned by God, David exulted: “For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13–16). All of this helped David fully understand the concept that the Apostle Paul later put into words: “For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’” (Acts 17:28).
So through this process of constantly meditating on God’s creation, of deeply studying and meditating on God’s wonderful law (Psalm 119:97), of walking with God and experiencing how God does really bless those who serve Him, David developed a truly remarkable faith in his Creator and his God! David exclaimed in the magnificent 18th Psalm: “For You will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?” (Psalm 18:28–31).
Yes, David’s God was his “Rock.” This powerful concept enabled David to fully trust in God through thick and thin—through every manner of trials, tests, illnesses and discouragements. No matter what, David knew that the true God was solid as a “Rock”!
Through David, God tells the leaders of the world today: “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:10–12). We will all be “blessed” if we put our trust in God! Again, David was inspired to write: “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9–10). If we, today, set ourselves to truly seek God and to more fully “know His name”—His awesome beauty, wisdom, love and total power—then we will learn to put our full trust in our heavenly Father in a way we may never have done before.
A Modern Example
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was a modern “apostle of faith.” After describing how he gave up a small ministerial salary from a religious group that was pressing him to take actions he considered to be unscriptural, Mr. Armstrong wrote: “‘As for me and my house,’ I then said firmly, ‘we shall serve the Eternal our God, and Him only shall we serve. If men pay us a salary—even as small as $3 per week—we have now learned we must preach only what men order us to preach. If we are to work for God we must look to God as our employer, and trust Him to supply our every material need. And then,’ I added, ‘if we fail to serve Him as He commands, He will stop our income.’ I wrote my wife to this effect. It may seem like a step that required great courage to give up even a $3-a-week income, when that was all we had. Of course, a few offerings were by this time being handed to me personally—but they were usually a dollar or less, and averaged less than the $3 weekly salary. But it really did not require any real courage. My wife and I knew we were obeying and serving God. We knew He was using us. The fruits being borne were loud testimony of this. God had prepared us for relying solely on Him by many miraculous answers to prayer. Therefore we knew in perfect faith, God would supply our need” (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Vol. 1, p. 585).
Later in his Autobiography, Mr. Armstrong described how he and his wife had to trust God fully to give them the needed resources to preach the Truth on radio during the depths of the Great Depression: “And I have explained how, in those bottom-depression days, this took real living faith! When 25¢, 50¢, and $1 per month was all that people felt they could afford to pledge, you may realize how big the unpledged balance appeared. At that time Jesus Christ opened the door! I walked through it. I trusted Him to keep the balance coming. He kept it coming! Sometimes the necessary $2.50 was not on hand up to 30 minutes before broadcast time. Then one of the brethren might knock at our front door and just happen (?) to leave some tithe money, or an offering, at that psychological minute! Never once did Christ fail to provide. Never did we have to miss a broadcast! Real faith requires that courage of believing, and acting on it! This, let me explain, was not like going in debt for something consumed and unpaid for. We didn’t go into debt. We trusted Christ to send the money to pay before each program, in advance” (pp. 614–615).
God’s Ways Always Work!
Yes, even in modern times, God’s ways always work. For the God of Abraham, even today, will bless, guide, heal and deliver those who really put their trust in Him. And God inspired David to write these words as part of Holy Scripture: “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:11–12).
If we in God’s Church today will fervently seek God and trust Him—as David did—He will begin to use us even more to do a genuinely
powerful Work. The true gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached effectively around the world, and more and more people will be brought to real surrender of their lives—to serve and obey God and let Christ fully live within them (Galatians 2:20). More will be supernaturally healed, blessed and delivered during the terrible trials to come at the end of this age, and many more will be made ready to enter God’s Kingdom in the first resurrection—the “better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35).