Take a couple minutes and read Psalm 56. It's only 13 verses long but it contains some principles by which our lives will be enriched. This is a Psalm written by David during a time when he was in fear because he was being captured by the Philistines.
David cries out to God, "Be merciful to me." He was under attack. There were men in hot pursuit and their success in making the capture was imminent. We can put ourselves in David's shoes and understand his fear.
Notice several items David teaches us as his cry to God reveals fear.
1. From verses 3 and 4, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" See the transition being made during David's prayer? He confesses his fear which triggers his trust in God. He goes from saying, "I am afraid, so I will trust in God;" to " I trust in God, so I am not afraid." David finds strength and confidence in knowing mortal men can do nothing to him.
David knows he is dealing with those who twist his words and use them to cause him harm. He knows men are conspiring for his death. His prayer is for God to deal with these enemies. His confidence is that the enemies will turn away because David is calling for God's help. Here is some good advice for us. When faced with the evil which men can do to us, or attempt against us, it's God that can bring positive results from the negative actions and words of others. David know this is God, who is on his side. He knows this is God, whose words he praises. God is his help, his strength, so what can men do to him?
2. From verses 12 and 13, "I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life." Repeat over and over the first part of verse 12. "I am under vows to you, O God." The events in which we find ourselves making wrong decisions would have right outcomes if we paused just long enough to base our decisions on that statement David made. It should be our statement, too. "I am under vows to you, O God." That places David and us in a position to offer thankful praise.
David knew God as his deliverer, because God had delivered him from death. We, too, know of God's deliverance and his promises to be with us every step of our journey. David knew it was God who kept him from stumbling, and when we realize that, our spiritual stumbles and failures will be turned into victories.
David praises God because he allows David to "walk before God in the light of life." It works that way for us, too. We who are under vows to God, share with David in the confidence that God walks with us.