ODJ: white knuckles

June 7, 2014 

READ: 1 Samuel 17:31-51 

This is the LORD’s battle (v.47).

When I moved near to the big city where I now live, driving on unfamiliar roads made me feel uneasy. Merging into heavy traffic elevated my heart rate. I dreaded becoming boxed in by other vehicles. Cars and lorries streamed by me, making me feel that I needed to speed up. During these moments, my knuckles became white as I tensely gripped the steering wheel.

We can adopt the same ‘white knuckle’ response in stressful life situations. We often grit our teeth and depend on our own determination to accomplish a task.

David responded differently to his nerve-wracking encounter with Goliath, however. Because he relied on God rather than himself, he told king Saul, “The LORD who rescued me from [wild animals] will rescue me from this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17:37). Relying on God, David refused to wear the cumbersome armour Saul offered, and took just five small stones and a sling into battle (v.40). As David trusted in God, He ignored Goliath’s trash-talking and told the giant, “The LORD will conquer you. . . . This is the LORD’s battle” (vv.46-47).

When the battle began, David didn’t cower and clutch his weapon with white knuckles—“[he] quickly ran out to meet” Goliath (v.48). David’s courage came from a solid sense of God’s presence and power. In the end, God used David to defeat Goliath. The victory provided a critical message for the Israelites: “The LORD rescues his people” (v.47).

Today, we have the assurance that we’re God’s people, and He will watch over us in any battle we face (Romans 8:37-39). Instead of approaching daunting situations with fear, we can march out to face them with confidence, knowing that God is on our side (Psalm 118:6). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Luke 1:26-56 ‹365-day plan

Read Psalm 91:4-6 to see a picture of God’s powerful, compassionate protection. 
Why do we sometimes doubt God’s presence and power during difficult circumstances? How might fearful situations improve our walk with God?