Yesterday in prayer I came across the following Scripture: “But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield” (Ps. 5:11-12).

Many times we speak of taking refuge in the Lord: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1); “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” (Ps. 91:2); “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him” (Nah. 1:7) and “Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge” (Prov. 14:26).

David understood God! He understood that God does not look on man’s outward appearance, but He looks upon the heart. Every morning, David found himself too busy not to spend time with the Lord. “Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” (Ps. 5:1-3)

Do we look to God in the morning, approaching Him even before our day begins, or are we too busy to spend even just a few minutes with Him before we start our day? I fear that too often we as Christians tend to worship God from afar. We mean to develop a closer relationship with the Lord, but we let the busyness of life get in the way. And yet, what is there in our lives that is more important than God? Nothing!

Psalm 5 talks about our response to His help in our times of trouble: rejoicing: “Let them ever sing for joy…those who love Your name may rejoice in You”! In the heat of battle, David was deeply dependent on God for his victories. In his times of worship, David shouted, sang, and danced—and embarrassed his wife Michal (2 Samuel 6). But David did not stop rejoicing; he did not stop his noisy trust. But too many of us have.

What was the secret to David’s success? Coming before God without arrogance or pride as “the arrogant cannot stand in your presence” (v 5); he humbly sought God to lead him in His righteousness (v 8). Only by living our lives in faithfulness toward God will we find any true success. Oh, we may have much success from a worldly point of view, but what good will that do us in eternity? When we come to God with nothing, only pleading for His help to keep us faithful, He will answer. God hears the voice of the humble, but will not listen to the voice of the proud and arrogant.

We have allowed skeptical people and struggling people to push back against our joyful trust and unabashed praise for all God does. But we are to trust noisily, for trust is not a peripheral component of our faith. Trust is the heart and center of our commitment to Jesus, so trust lifts its voice and shouts joyfully. Trust calls forth praise and triggers real joy. And as David did, when we experience victory, we are to shout about it. How can we do less?

Let us not be fooled by the wicked of this world. Those who serve only themselves do not have the best interests of others in mind. They only seek to promote themselves. Let us not look to the world for joy, peace, or happiness. These can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice that David’s shout of joy gave way to confidence that God would “surround him as with a shield.” And this was no small shield, like one used to block an arrow. This shield was the size of a door that covered the whole body like armor. For you, this shield is God’s favor on you, strong and unfailing. Noisy trust, unfettered joy, blessed confidence: let’s learn from David!

Pray that God will help you today to remember who the wicked really are and to pray for them constantly. Pray that you will remember how prone you are to sin against God and pray without ceasing for God’s help to keep you from sin. Lastly, pray that God will give you great joy today when you think of God’s shield of defense all around you. And then joyously thank Him for His favor, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”