We have all been seeing and hearing news about various kinds of harassment people experience in this life. These difficulties can cause us to doubt God’s love, help, and support. It makes us feel like we are alone, and feel like our problems pile up on us. Harassment comes in many forms, and we can feel the impact and stress of it for a long time. Because of the length of time that can be required to overcome it, we tend to magnify other stresses on our minds. These can multiply and cause a lot of misery.
David faced the same things in his own time. And what he wrote can help us tremendously. One of his harassments came in the form of treason from his son, Absolom, in 2 Samuel 15. He was in very real danger and was forced to go into hiding to escape. The mental anguish was great because he loved his son, but his son sought to kill him. We can learn a lot about dealing with harassment by looking at some of the things he wrote.
Psalm 3 gives us two steps to overcoming harassment and stress.
Remember the correct history of the harassment.
We tend to reinvent history and make it fit a narrative. While we should never pretend something did not happen, we also must be careful that we don’t remember it worse than it was. This is an easy mistake and it can hurt us tremendously. In the context of David’s psalm, he looked back on the events that led to his flight and remembered that God was there for him, even though David was in terrible circumstances. By God’s mercy, it was not worse than it was.
Now that’s not to say, “Hey, it could have been worse. Stop griping.” That’s not the message at all. This is a reflection of his faith in God’s protection and a recognition that God is there for him, and always has been. Until we can look at the situation clearly, we cannot heal from it. And “looking at it clearly” includes seeing where God may have helped us through it and being thankful for that help. Keep your problems in the correct perspective by seeing God’s hand in helping you.
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.
When we see history correctly, it helps us put confidence in God. And that leads to the next step in overcoming harassment of any kind.
Determine to live in faith, not in fear of harassment.
Dangers lurk in this dark world, and we need to face reality. People may harm us in many different ways. But it is also certain that God will help us through if we rely on Him in faith. Of course, you will be afraid, but don’t let that fear control your actions! Live in faith. Be FULL of faith. To do that, call out to God for help. Your prayer life should increase as you face problems and fears- but it doesn’t always increase. We must make the decision to spend more time with God in prayer, telling Him of our fears and stepping out in faith in spite of those fears.
David was a great example of this kind of faith, and he can be an inspiration to you. He called out to God for help as if God had already done it. And this faith came because God had so often helped in his past. Why wouldn’t He help now?
Do you see that remembering what God did in the past, how He helped you, is a way to build your faith in Him now? Have courage that comes through faith in a God who loves you.
Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people.