God’s Shield Against Discouragement
Sometimes we suffer discouragement because of difficult circumstances caused by no one in particular:
- Natural Disasters,
- Economic Downturns, and
Frequently, however, we suffer because enemies cause us harm and refuse to stop. That was David’s expression of grief in Psalm 5. He knew discouragement could easily spiral into resentment, bitterness, hatred, and finally revenge. He feared becoming like his oppressors. So, David reflected on the Lord’s character and asked Him for the ability to do things His way. David then considers the character and actions of his enemies (Ps. 5:9-10).
My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.
O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
In his mind, David intentionally hands his enemies over to God, who has the full sole authority to allot justice or mercy. He also asks God to allow them to “be caught in their own traps.” When dealing with those who oppose righteousness, it’s helpful to remember that they are fighting against the Lord, not you. Consequently, you can be sure He will not allow evil deeds to continue forever. He will limit sin and hold the sinners accountable. If left alone in their own counsel, they will fall by themselves!
Paul the apostle says it straight in Romans 12:17-19.
Do not retaliate with evil, regardless of the evil brought against you. Try to do what is good and right and honorable as agreed upon by all people. If it is within your power, make peace with all people. Again, my loved ones, do not seek revenge; instead, allow God’s wrath to make sure justice is served. Turn it over to Him. For the Scriptures say, “Revenge is Mine. I will settle all scores.”
The daily grind of discouragement is diminished when we trust that the Lord will fight our battles for us.
Finally, having celebrated the righteous character of God, having requested the ability to remain on God’s side of the issue, and having considered the ultimate destiny of evildoers, David imagined the future joy of the righteous (Ps. 5:11).
But let all who put their trust in You be glad. Let them sing with joy forever. You make a covering for them, that all who love Your name may be glad in You.
The key thought through this verse is joy.
How are you doing regarding your countenance – is it joyful?
Do you really live above the pressures of life?
Is there a sign of peace written across your face?
If you fight your own battles without the Lord, you’ll become bitter, severe, cranky, and ultimately your face will bear the marks of the battle.
Have you ever taken note of Cain’s response to God’s rejection of his offering?
A most significant statement appears in Genesis 4:5: “So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.” Another way of translating the Hebrew text adds a bit more color: “And Cain burned with anger exceedingly and his face fell.” When anger and resentment are harbored, our faces show it. Our jaw tightens with clenched teeth and our eyes narrow. It is impossible to hide inner discouragement! “Fallen” faces reveal discouraged hearts. David wanted God to take his inner burden and replace it with inner joy.
Finally, the creator mentions a promise we frequently forget:
For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor).
Psalm 5:12 (AMP)
David ends his song with his eyes turned toward the Lord and away from the sources of his discouragement. Having given God his “morning burden,” David’s discouragement fled. The shield he mentions at the end of his song here in verse 12 was the largest of warriors’ shields, covering the entire body.
So what is the promise?
God will bless the one who looks to Him for protection.
He will do this by giving him favor and by providing him with His large, protective (yet invisible) shield. Up with the shield…out with discouragement!
DECLARATION OF FAITH
My Father leads me in His righteousness because of my enemies and makes His way straight before me. He does not allow them to overtake me in any way. He pronounces them guilty before me and sentences them to fall by their own counsels. He casts them out of my presence for He has declared that when they come against me, they are coming against Him.
It is such joy for me to be able to trust in the Lord. Knowing that His eyes never leave me and that He is always there to defend me fills my heart with elation! He has set me apart to bless me with His abundance and surrounds me with His favor as with a shield.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name.