From Trouble to Thanksgiving

Read Psalm 20:1-9

D. L. Moody did not want soloist Ira Sanky to sing the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" because he felt the Church was anything but a victorious army marching off to war. Yet the Bible pictures God's people as soldiers in His army. As soldiers, we must be familiar with Psalms 20 and 21. The first deals with prayer and winning the victory, and the second deals with praise and holding the victory. If we trust the Lord, we will move from trouble to thanksgiving.

Several factors lead us to triumph in battle. The first is prayer This is an essential element in fighting the battles of the Lord because it releases His power. There are no battles like those of the Christian life. We struggle against the enemies of the Lord: the world (I John 2:15), the flesh and the devil (Eph. 6). We must pray according to the will of God. The Word of God and prayer go together (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17,18).

Next, we need to surrender. Before David and his army fought, they worshiped God. That affected his battle plan and his victory. David's "burnt offering" indicated total surrender to God. If we're not walking with the Lord today, we'll not be ready when the battle comes.

Another factor is unity. David and his army had one goal--God's victory. And they had one joy--to serve Him and do His will. The tribes of Israel were a picture of unity. They had one army assembled from 12 tribes.

The fourth factor is faith. Verse 6 says the Lord "saves" His anointed. The Hebrew word used here means He "has saved." That is, God already has given David the victory (I John 5:4). The Church today often trusts in all kinds of horses and chariots but not in the Lord.

The final factor is obedience. David and his army obeyed God's will. The day of trouble can become a day of triumph and thanksgiving if we have trust, which is expressed by prayer, surrender, unity, faith and obedience.

Although you cannot avoid battles, you can be ready for them and, with God's help, be victorious. Are you prepared to do battle? If not, trust the Lord to help you.

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