“And David said in his heart, I am going to perish one day by the hand of Saul.” - 1 Samuel 27:1
This thought that entered David’s heart was a lie, not because Saul didn’t, in fact, mean to kill him, but because God had already demonstrated to David that He would not allow it.
The proof of God’s good intentions toward David had been evident his entire life. He had been anointed king by Samuel – was that an empty, meaningless event? He had been through dangerous perils, but God had intervened to deliver him from each of them. Throughout a whole variety of trials and troubles, he had been given protection and a means of escape. There was not a single instance on which he could put his finger and say, “There is evidence that God will forsake me.” The entire experience of his life proved the opposite! Not once had God deserted him.
Before faulting David too harshly, we should look in a mirror ourselves. Isn’t that the way we act too? When we face yet another exhausting ordeal, how often do we look back and complain of all of the other troubles we’ve been through? Instead, we should look back at all of the amazing deliverances that God has demonstrated as a result of them. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage. To quote Spurgeon: “We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head, he has held aloft the shield of our defense.”
Without our trials, we would have no personal proof of God’s great love for us. How else could we literally see His hand of deliverance and feel the tenor of His heart’s care for us?
It may be natural for us to fear a future that we can’t see, but isn’t that mistrust without a cause? It’s fair that we should ask whether we have ever had a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness. His lovingkindness has been incredible! Never once has He failed to justify our trust.
As I’ve become older, there is more of life to look back upon. In hindsight, it’s clear that all of my life’s darkest trials have been lessons in trust and demonstrations of God’s deep care for me. From past experience, I have to conclude that the one who has been with me in a thousand troubles will not forsake me in the thousand-and-first.
What we have already known of our faithful God proves that He will keep us to the end.
And they that know your name will put their trust in you; For you, Jehovah, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10)