Psalm 3:3-4 - But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and He answered me from His holy hill.
Even though we are free to worship as we wish, still we may at times cry out with David, the psalmist, "How many are my foes!" (Psalm 3:1a). Though we may not suffer persecution through physical harm or loss of earthly possessions, we may be mocked for our faith; or our belief in Christ may simply be dismissed as useless. Our fear and doubt and guilt always plague us as internal enemies, and our chief foe, the devil, ceaselessly tries to trip us up.
We live in a culture that increasingly mocks those who follow Jesus. It is fine, some suggest, for us to keep our faith, so long as we keep it privately. As we invite others to examine the truth of the Christian faith—to meet Jesus, who is the Truth—the response may well be, "You have your truth, and I have mine." David, as he expresses in the psalm, faced a similar response: "Many are saying of my soul, 'There is no salvation for him in God'" (Psalm 3:2).
But David has the answer. He is not ashamed to confess the truth of his salvation, and we need not be ashamed either: "You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head." God shields us and we lift our heads in hope because long ago He answered us "from his holy hill" (Psalm 3:4b). On a holy hill outside of Jerusalem our Lord Jesus endured the mockery and ridicule of the onlookers who came to watch His execution: "He saved others, let Him save Himself" (Luke 23:35b). He would not save Himself because He hung from the cross on that holy hill to save us. His suffering complete, our Lord, in the words of the psalm, "lay down and slept" the sleep of death. The same psalm could have shaped the prayer of our Savior on the first Easter morning: "I woke again, for the Lord sustained me" (Psalm 3:5).
Each day we lie down to sleep, confident that the Lord who gave Himself to save us will sustain us through the night and through the new day be our shield and our glory. One day, like our Lord Jesus once did, we will lie down and sleep the sleep of death. But as with our Lord, we too will wake from death because the Lord who sustains us now through life will raise us to eternal life and sustain us in His presence forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, when foes, real or imagined, rise against us, sustain us by Your power. Strengthen and encourage all those who suffer persecution around the world for the sake of Your holy Name. Be our Shield and our Glory and lift us up in triumph. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Does our culture belittle or uplift those who look to God for help? How so?
2. Have you ever felt there was a time when there was no hope for you? When and why?
3. What do you do when you feel pressured or ostracized for your faith?