By Shawn McMullen
David’s ascent to the throne of Israel was marked by difficulty and danger. As king he continued to deal with war, family conflict, and personal failure.
But there were blessings, too. And David was careful to acknowledge the good hand of God upon his life. Many of the psalms David wrote point to God as the source of his self-esteem, contentment, and confidence.
His Source of Strength
As David led Israel’s troops into battle, he never forgot the source of his strength. He wrote, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29). David knew that no army (regardless of its size) and no obstacle (no matter how formidable) could stand in Israel’s way if God were fighting with them. He felt the same about his personal skill in warfare: “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze” (v. 34).
David honored God as his helper and protector as well: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (28:7).
His Source of Confidence
David faced his foes with confidence, believing that if he were fighting the Lord’s battles, the Lord would fight for him. “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident” (Psalm 27:3). I can imagine David looking back on the many ways God led and protected him throughout his life and writing, “For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (71:5).
His Source of Contentment
God was good to David and blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. Still, with great power and authority comes great responsibility. How did David cope with the pressures of warfare and the demands of leadership? He found contentment in God: “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (131:1-3).
His Source of Peace
Do your responsibilities at home, at work, and in your community ever keep you up at night? Multiply your concerns many times over and you may begin to understand what David faced. Still, he looked to God as his source of peace and the Lord answered his prayers so that he could write, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (4:8). He also wrote, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (29:11).
His Source of Self-Esteem
David’s self-esteem was grounded in God’s love. He knew he had value because a loving God placed him in his mother’s womb and tenderly formed his tiny body. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (139:13, 14).
David found his self-esteem, contentment, and confidence in God. We can do the same.
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