"Surprised to be loved!"

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 5:6-8,11-12; 22; 1 Chronicles 11:6-9; 13; 14:8-17; Psalm 18

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me" (Ps. 18:16-19; 2 Sam. 22:17-20).

My powerful enemy confronts me in the day of my disaster, when I am beaten down and discouraged. It seems he makes his strongest attacks when I've been worn down waiting for God to answer my prayers, after I've been treading the same deep water endlessly and don't appear to be any closer to safety and rest. He seems to know my faults and fears, and attacks me where I'm weakest and most vulnerable. He becomes too strong for me to resist and threatens to destroy me.

But during the heat of the battle, God is my support. It is God who arms me with strength and aims me in the right direction (18:32 NIV/Msg). When trouble surrounds me on every side... when I can no longer feel the ground underneath me... when I tire of treading water just to stay alive, God holds me steady and gives me strength to endure. When the battle overwhelms me... when my troubles and fears overtake me and threaten to drown the life out of me... when I can no longer find an ounce of strength or a thread of hope, God reaches down from on high and takes hold of me. He draws me out of the deep waters and brings me to safety. He sets my feet on solid ground... on the Rock that is our God (18:31). "I stand there saved--surprised to be loved!" (18:19 Msg).