Did you read Part 1 of Who can I turn to when things come crashing down around me? If so, the first reason to trust in the LORD during times of tribulation is that the LORD will help His own. The second reason to trust in the LORD during times of tribulation is that the LORD will keep His own.
Hear the words of verse 3 and 4; whist listening out for the word “keepeth”,
One thing I love about God’s Word is the personal pronouns. As we read the text in verse 3 notice how the Psalmist attributes God’s gracious keeping to the individual; “thy foot”, “he that keepeth thee”. The God of the universe who sustains the heavens above, who plots the paths of the stars in the sky is also our Father who lovingly looks over us.
This concept of keeping encapsulates the idea that “God will enable you to stand firm… [that] …You are safe in his protection.” (Barnes 1987:233) What a thought! God does not just offer help to those in need but also ensures that that help will be enough to sustain us through the trails that we’re facing. The greatest of reformers put it like this,
“God is exhibited to the faithful as their guardian, that they may rest with assured confidence on his providence… Now, although if often happens that the faithful stagger, yea, are even ready to fall altogether, yet as God sustains them by his power, they are said to stand upright” (Calvin, 2005:65).
The Psalmists paints a very practical metaphor here. The heat in the Holy Land can be unbearable. There is scant vegetation to cheer the footpath which cuts through the gravelly ground strewn with rocks upon which the weary pilgrim must tread. The fatigued and exhausted are reminded that there is provision and strength which comes from the LORD. It is He who shields, He who protects, He who upholds.
I’m reminded of Psalm 21 where David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Ps 23:4).
Do you live knowing the reality of God’s divine hand of protection in your life? When you’re battered and beaten, broken and soar, no will or energy left of your own do you turn to Him who never gets weary, never gets tired, never is frail? Believers, are you able to say “The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psa 28:7).