I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe God; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. (Psalm 34:1-3;8, The Message)
Life is full of challenges. Challenges in our homes, in our marriages, in our country, in the world, and challenges with our children and family. Let me take it further. There are challenges in our jobs and even in our very own minds. After a COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, just the past 6 years have continuously challenged us. Yes, I’m going to call out all the demons. We have inflation challenges with high gas and food prices. We have experienced food shortages, even baby formula shortages! No one gets a pass. We have endured so many left and right bomb hits with plenty of jabs to keep us hemmed up in the ropes. And if you factor in the mass killings spreading across the United States and war overseas, we add even more challenges to our day-to-day lives.
The funny thing about challenges is that some people thrive on being challenged. And then some people fall apart at the thought of being challenged. But this particular challenge from David, a man who has known God to be faithful when he was faced with life’s ups and downs; a man whose heart was perpetually filled with praise; and a man who had confidence in the God he served and was thankful for all the ways God had delivered him when he turned to him in prayer. This man of God and king of man had no problem challenging everyone to try His God. My friends, this is no ordinary challenge. It requires us to act!
“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—“
David’s challenge was his witness! If you don’t believe God is a healer, try Him; if you don’t believe that God is a deliverer, call on Him; if you don’t know by now that God will be there for you, then you oughta “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.”
David had come to realize that Blessings are promised to those who accept this challenge and try God and for those who begin to Hold on to Him believing His help is on the way! Why did David issue this challenge? We can read in the Bible that when David was afraid and in distress, he prayed. “God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.” Psalm 34:4, The Message
David said he begged for God’s help and God answered his request immediately and delivered him from the fear of death and from the drama produced by the fact that he was scared and didn’t know what to do. Have you been in that head space before? What we must understand is God’s providence is always working for us and His Grace is always working in us. So when we find ourselves in the preverbal “storm” we might want to take a page out of David’s playbook and pray! We need to stop, drop and kneel to make our petition known to God, then stand on God’s word knowing that everything is going to be alright. Because if we can hold on just a little while longer, our help is on the way!
Back in 1959, Beatrice Brown wrote, 🎼“Without God, I could do nothing, without God I would fail; without God, my life would be rugged like a ship without a sail.”🎼
When we read David’s story, we can understand this challenge is a witness because David knew from experience that as long as God was on his side, he had a backup so he prayed. And David’s witness can be ours too - “God met me more than halfway, he freed me from all my anxious fears.” It reads as a battle-tested confirmation that when you pray and believe you get results!
Mahalia Jackson use to sing a song that said, 🎼I was weak and weary, I had gone astray walking in the darkness I could not find my way but a light came shining to lead me from despair, all my sins are forgiven and I was free from care. I found the answer I learned to pray with God to guide me I found the way, the sun is shining for me each day - I found the answer I learned to pray”🎼
My friends, answered prayers made David a praising person because He tried God for himself. He knew how to give God praise and he knew how to hold on because he was confident help was on the way from the Most High God. When we read David’s testimony, we can use it as a blueprint for our lives today. David was determined to stay consistent when it came to giving God praise. It did not matter if it was good times or bad days and whether he was up or down. I would imagine that at some point in his life David was able to remind himself how God has always had his back because this was not his first rodeo with being anxious, fearing death, or needing help out of Death Valley. David had many fearful experiences in the past:
When he tended sheep alone in his youth.
When he knew that it was God who delivered him from the paws of the lion and the paws of the bear
The time he knew that God was with him was when he faced mighty Goliath with nothing more than a slingshot and five smooth stones from a brook and he had victory in the valley that day
David sought the Lord when he was afraid and it was a common practice of his to praise God in advance. David is a good example for us all to try God and realize that He is more than capable of calming all of our fears because God is bigger than any of our anxieties and challenges. Friends, sometimes all we can do is cry out to God and be thankful. These are fearful but faith-building times as we walk by faith and not by sight. We can choose to be grateful and praise God for using our problems as His opportunity to help us. “Light, space, zest—that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.” (Psalm 27:1, The Message)
David cried, and the Lord heard him! This is true at salvation. Unable to save ourselves, we cry out to Jesus. He saves us when we cannot save ourselves. David had found out that God was always up to the occasion because God saved him “out of all his troubles” and gave him complete deliverance. The Lord had delivered him in his times of danger. David discovered he was not alone. Even when he felt as if there was no hope he could feel secure with God. David encourages us to not sit on the sideline, to get off the ropes and punch back with PRAYER! David encourages us not to worry but to Trust God knowing that help is on the way. No wonder he issued this enduring challenge. If we hold on and try God, He can do the same for us no matter what’s going on in our lives. If we can just remind ourselves to hold on because God’s help is on the way.
My friends, we can find hope, victory, peace, and joy and it can be ours today when we choose to believe the Promises of the Most High God. Because one thing is for sure - God has a proven track record and the deliverance of His people can be found throughout the Bible.
When Daniel got tossed into the lion's den it was God who closed the mouth of the lion and delivered him
When the three Hebrew boys went to the fiery furnace it was God who stepped in and cooled the fire
When Sampson stood on the battlefield... with nothing more than the jaw bone of a donkey armies on the right armies on the left...yet because God was with him he had victory over his enemies...
After all, Job went through he was still able to say....though he slay me yet will I trust him and maintain my ways before him
And because each of these people tried God, they had confidence in knowing that help was on the way. God gave them double for their trouble. They received protection in their times of distress and they were able to become more than just conquers through Christ Jesus.
Finally, my friends, we must never forget that it was God who was with his son Jesus when he went to the cross - when they hung him high and stretched him wide - when He gave His life for you and me! When He got up on the third day with all power in his hands, that was God looking out for us. The challenge David confidently dared holds true for us today:
Find out for yourself - try God and watch him work it out. Try God and He will direct your path because if you have tried the rest - now is the time to try the best! Hold on, your help is on the way!
With Love and In His Service,
Reverend D.A. Whitney is the founder of Blessed 4 Life Ministries (B4LM), host of “Let’s Be Blunt With The Rev” and co-host of “Chatting With The Whitney’s” on Impact Radio USA @ https://pod.co/blessed-4-life-ministries he is the author of several books including “Overcoming Principalities”. The Rev can be contacted at www.blessed4lifeministries.com or at email@example.com