Christ understands our sorrows, he teaches us how to pray, and we share in the spoils of his victory.
When we encounter conflict with the authority figures God places in our lives, we have a choice: to respond sinfully or rightly as David did with King Saul. Though we may defend ourselves before those authority figures, we also can appeal to God with the same confident faith David had. For we know, as he did, that the Lord sees, that God alone is and will judge, and that he will deliver the righteous.
Like David, we all experience trials and difficulties, and like David, God is with us. It is God's presence that makes the difference, his presence and power that gives us victory! However, victory doesn't always mean we escape the difficulty; sometimes God's presence and power are evident because we are still standing in the midst of the storm. God's faithfulness is sure.
Unbelief sees only what is visible, but faith sees more. Faith sees God in it, faith remembers and reasons, and then faith acts. At some point in our faith, we must step forward and act—boldly claiming the promises of God reserved for those in Christ.
The curses for disobedience that we see in the OT point to the reality of heaven and hell, provoking a sober awareness of the real consequences of our sin before a holy God. Yet for those in Christ, the power of sin is broken! We can obey—though imperfectly. And sometimes the consequences we reap in this life are harsh, but we can and will rejoice because the Lord will not forsake his own! Like the Israelites, we are disciplined, but not disowned.
We all love stories of kings and princes. The story of Saul in 1 Samuel tells us much about Israel’s first king, but it tells us much more about our King. We see in Saul’s story, God’s sovereignty and care for his people—that he alone is our refuge, our defender, our strength, our savior. Like the Israelites, we are tempted to be faithless in the midst of trials and even tempted to unbelief as Israel was when they demanded an earthly king, but God was the only King Israel needed. And he is all that we need!
We are called to be those who not only have faith but are faithful. God wants our hearts to be fully devoted and obedient to him, to seek him and submit to him, to trust him completely no matter how bad things are.