Faith is at the heart of everything we believe in the Christian life. Yet, much like Jesus’ disciples, many of us struggle with doubt. In “The Thrill of Trusting God,” Dr. Stanley uses David's victory over Goliath to illustrate what an active faith looks like. The thrilling thing about knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is that we can trust in our heavenly Father who hears us when we pray.
2 Kings 6:17
Staring across the Elah Valley into the eyes of Goliath, David recalled the times God had delivered him from the brink of disaster. God had always given him the ability he needed to triumph. Now he faced one of the greatest challenges of his life—a trained and well-armed warrior named Goliath.
At some point, each of us will face what seem to be mammoth trials and difficulties. This is why we must know how to respond to every threat by laying hold of the kind of victorious faith that looks beyond what we can see to what God sees.
The secret of David’s success was his ability to trust and obey God. Had he looked merely at the giant challenge facing him, he would have turned around and run away, as did the rest of the Israelites. But through faith, David saw what his countrymen did not.
In times of extreme pressure, God stretches our faith and deepens our dependence on Him. Without a strong, abiding faith, we can quickly yield to temptation and fear, especially when the trial or difficulty is intense or prolonged. God developed David’s trust until it became unshakable.
Whatever Goliath you face, you need to bury one truth deep within your heart: God loves you, and when you place your trust in Him, He will help you to triumph. You may go through times of failure. Life may not always turn out the way you planned. But ultimately, God will be glorified, and you will be blessed.
Every challenge presents an opportunity for the Lord to display His faithfulness and love. Instead of yielding to thoughts of fear and failure, make a commitment to trust God, even when you do not know what the next day will bring. Train yourself to look beyond what you can see to what He sees.
David founded his faith in the sovereignty of God; that’s why he knew he would not fail in his quest to defeat the Philistine giant.
How can you gain that kind of faith?
- Recall past victories. David recalled how God had delivered him from the paw of the lion and the grasp of the bear (1 Sam. 17:32-37). You first win spiritual victories in your mind. If you cave into feelings of fear and doubt, you will lose. When you focus on the truth of God’s Word, you win every time.
- Reject discouraging words. No one in the Israelite camp encouraged David in his quest to defeat Goliath. The soldiers laughed at him. His brothers felt embarrassed by his presence and urged him to go home. Even King Saul doubted David. If he had listened to their disparaging comments, he would have given up—but he turned his heart toward the Lord and there found the encouragement he needed.
- Recognize the true nature of the battle. David entered the battle shouting to his arrogant opponent the memorable words, “The battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Sam. 17:47). What a victorious way to say, “God wins!”
- Respond to the challenge with a positive confession. David asked the fearful Israelites, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26). To Saul he said, “The Lord . . . will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (v. 37). To Goliath he said, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (v. 45). David firmly declared his belief that he could not lose because God was with him.
- Rely on the power of God. David did not need a spear or a javelin to defeat Goliath. He needed only his faith and a homemade slingshot. “That all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword and spear” (1 Sam. 17:47). God provided the victory, and He received the glory.
- Reckon the victory. Even before he stepped onto the battlefield, David knew he would not lose. He knew it wasn’t his reputation on the line, but God’s. He knew it wasn’t his strength or cunning that would win the battle, but God’s strength and wisdom.
You can face any circumstance with confidence and hope, because it is not your strength, wisdom, energy, or power that brings victory. Triumph comes because of Christ’s ability, and when you place your trust in Him, you tap into an irresistible force that no one and nothing can successfully oppose.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.
This post is a part of the series Life Principles to Live By.