“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3
Dale Davis says this about Psalm 3; “You first go through the double doors of the Psalms – Psalm 1 tells you to settle your commitment and Psalm 2 gives you a clear view of the Kingdom. Then what? You walk into trouble in Psalm 3.”
When I read Psalm 3:3, I think of the picture of a parent coming alongside a child that has had a hard disappointing day. The child is walking around with its head down and just feeling awful. The parent comes along and gently puts its hand under the chin of the child and lifts the head to get eye contact. Gently the parent says, “I know this has been a hard, rough and disappointing day but I promise we will get through this together. I am here for you.” The child puts on a small smile of belief and knows what the parent says is true; what a beautiful picture. That is what we are offered in Psalm 3, we are given a model of how we can pray and reach out to God for comfort and help during some of our darkest moments in life.
First, we need to be honest regarding our emotions and situation (vs. 1-2). It really doesn’t help us to “fake it”. We can take that honesty to him in prayer and conversation (vs. 4).
“The Psalms teach us how to express what we often try to repress. They do not rationalize anger away or give abstract advice about pain; rather, they express emotions vividly and loudly, directing their feelings primarily about God. The psalms present a mosaic of spiritual therapy in the process. Doubt, paranoia, giddiness, meanness, delight, hatred, joy, praise, vengefulness, betrayal – you find it all in the psalms. Such stewing of emotions, which I once saw as hopeless disarray, I now see as a sign of health. From psalms I have learned that I can rightfully bring to God whatever I feel about Him. I need not paper over my own failures and try to clean up my own rottenness; far better to bring those weaknesses to God, who alone has the power to heal.” (Phillip Yancey in “The Bible Jesus Read”)
Second, we need to see that God will not abandon us even when it feels like all is lost and everyone else has left us. There are things we can know about God in the midst of our struggles.
* God protects: vs. 3 tells us that He is a shield about me, therefore I need not be afraid (vs. 6).
* God sustains: vs. 5 is a great reminder of the peace that God gives so that we can make it through the storm.
* God is enough: vs. 3 also tells us that even though it feels like everything is lost, God has not lost His Glory, so I have all I need.
* God restores: He lifts my head to see again more clearly.
* God is accessible: vs. 4 tells us that He answers from His holy hill. God hears our prayers no matter where we are and how far we feel from Him.
Lastly, we need to keep a God perspective. In the middle of our struggles and dark times, we can remember that God will set things right (vs. 7-8). David sees past the immediate and hopes in what God will do, He will bring justice and evil will be stopped. It is also important to know that that means we do not need to take anything into our own hands; He’s got this! God will bring blessings on His people. If we jump ahead to Psalm 4, note that He will give relief (Psalm 4:4) and that in Him I can rest and find peace (Psalm 4:8). In Him, you can find rest, peace, comfort, hope and restoration! Hang in there – God’s got this!
Dr. Lynne Jahns