Trading Anxiety for Joy – 1 Samuel 26:8-11

“Then said Abishai to David, ‘God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.’ But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?’ And David said, ‘As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.’”
1 Samuel 26:8-11

Reading through this passage, I was struck by David’s faith in the Lord’s timing of events and His faithfulness to fulfill His word as He chooses. David knew he would be king one day. But we see here that he was not going to forcibly take the throne; doing so would require killing the man first anointed to be king, and David honored and feared the Lord too much to dare raise his hand against Saul or to order his men to do so.

I have been focusing lately on trusting the Lord’s timing and orchestration. Sometimes more successfully than others. This morning is one of the more difficult times to fully release the details and rest in His sovereign grace, which clearly God knew when He led me to this chapter in 1 Samuel. To show me David’s faith and remind me of His faithfulness to accomplish His plan in David’s life, and also to highlight how God was glorified in the faith David displayed.

Because David honored the Lord, and that is clear. That’s what our faith does. So when I sit and become anxious over details I can’t control, it does not honor God. It reveals doubt. The doubt can be various things: God’s ability, His willingness, His care, His attention. I think this morning, for me, it’s fear that He will overlook the situation. And since my writing tends to be a pouring out of my heart and what God is speaking to me onto the page, I’m inviting you into this space, in hopes that as the Lord speaks to my heart, He includes pieces that speak to you as well in whatever you’re facing today. I trust that He will, because He would not lead me to write otherwise.

My thoughts are drawn to 1 Peter 5:7. Which I mentioned in my writing yesterday. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). Verse 6 brings a crucial piece into the picture. Humbling self as we approach the Lord. Acknowledging who He is, His strength, power, wisdom, authority. And what a beautiful result Peter is compelled by the Spirit to write: “so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” We humble ourselves, not to be left wanting, but so God may lift us up at His properly, perfectly appointed time.

God cares for you, specifically. He cares for me. So we can trust Him here as we throw our anxieties away from ourselves and cast them all upon Him. He can take it. He can handle every detail, everything we can’t see coming together. He already knows it all, so none of our concerns contain things He hasn’t thought of yet. He is a detail-oriented God. From the beginning of creation to His plan of salvation, to the creation of you and the orchestration of the details and circumstances in your life, to the very way He leads you and affirms His will, all is perfectly ordered to bring Him glory and show the beauty and steadfastness of His character.

The steadfastness of His character. The perfection of His love. The personal nature of His care for each one of His own. And the wisdom and power that characterize His plans for us.

The Lord saw David. He knew every movement of His plan. He knew everything Saul would try, the efforts of all of Saul’s men and everyone else who sought to harm David or prevent the fulfillment of the Lord’s plan. David had far from an easy road, but His God was faithful in every moment and the Lord’s purposes were accomplished. His word was fulfilled.

Our God is faithful in our every moment as well. As He told the prophet Jeremiah, “I am watching over my word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12). God is watching over His word, aware of all that occurs. He knows every movement of His plan for your life and mine. And it will bring Him great glory. We will be able to stand with the cloud of witnesses to declare that our God is faithful and that following Him in resolute faith and throwing off every sin and hindrance is entirely worth it, because there is joy before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Let us pursue joy today. The joy of knowing our God is with us. The joy of knowing He is faithful. The joy of knowing we don’t have to know it all, because we are kept and our steps established by the God who has everything figured out already and who acts for those who wait for Him.

“From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.”
Isaiah 64:4

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,
to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.”
2 Chronicles 16:9a

“Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever.”
Psalm 48:12-14

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