Why do you suppose we most often refer to David as the “psalmist”? It’s true 73 of the “songs” are attributed to him, but that’s less than half. Maybe we consider him the author of Psalms because we identify with his personal challenges and triumphs. In fact, some psalms attributed to David were written while he was in the pit of difficulty, following a victory over adversity, or a combination of both.
How could the shepherd king declare the Lord’s praise would continually be in his mouth when facing a giant, fleeing for his life from an angry king, or stuck with a bunch of disgruntled soldiers in a pit?
Although he had little, if any, experience on the battlefield, David had spent quite a bit of time in the arena of prayer, praise, and worship. He had developed some powerful faith-filled strategies while tending his father’s sheep. He might not have known much about Goliath, but he was well-acquainted with the living LORD God of heaven and earth.
Interestingly, of all the different “types” of psalms, the most numerous are laments—65 or 67, depending on who is doing the counting. Many lament psalms begin in desolation but end in delight. While optimism can be found in the end, pessimism and despair are aired forcefully and unashamedly. That’s good news because we need to recognize God is not threatened, intimidated, or angered by us voicing our complaints and expressing our grief. Yet, we face our greatest difficulties when we allow the giants of adversity and despair to dominate our lives in such a way that they rob us of our thanksgiving, so all we do is lament!
True victory comes when we move from despair to delight, from grumbling to glory, and from lament to thanksgiving!
One quick reminder, David knocked the giant, attempting to steal Israel’s praise, face down to the ground by slinging a stone into his forehead. The frontal lobe of the brain is essentially the “control panel” of our personality and ability to communicate. David’s stone hit the very source of defiance against God and His people. It was mighty difficult for Goliath to shout lies with a mouth full of sandy dirt!
Try throwing a few “thanksgiving” stones at your giants of despair and fear by glorifying and praising God for His goodness, mercy, and grace in your life!