The church world can be quick to condemn this statement even though I think David was pretty clear about many of his fears. Paul also said they had conflicts without and fears within. (2 Corinthians 7:5) Much better, in my opinion, to acknowledge and address than to ignore and suppress.
David had to be afraid for his life at some points. Saul was in hot pursuit with his armies. They were trying to track David down and take away the threat to Saul's kingdom. I think that's what the enemy of our soul's intent is too. Our enemy would like to quiet us, sit us down, and watch us hide in a cave if he could keep us quiet. Maybe that's why it seems David is always commanding his soul to bless God. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
David often reminded himself to praise the Lord. He would make personal declarations. in Psalm 56:3, David says, when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. It was like he acknowledged the fear - but declared he was going to trust God in spite of it. In Psalm 62:5 David said, My soul, wait in silence for God only. for my hope is from Him. He reminded himself of where he had placed his hope. He sang about trusting God even though he faced fear.
David had plenty of trouble in his lifetime and multiple opportunities to be paralyzed by fear. He faced Goliath, ran from Saul, engaged in the heat of battle, and lost his son, Absolom, to civil war. We read about the good things David did and we get to read about it from the other side of the battle. It's easy to skip over the moment he stood eyeball to kneecap with a giant and didn't waver in his faith. We read quickly how David hid in caves and spent years running for his life. From the other side of the battle, it looks easy to praise God. But David commanded himself to praise God in the middle of his battles too.
Caregivers live in the battle - sometimes it feels like there isn't an other side. But we still have the choice to tell our souls to trust God and remind ourselves that He is where our hope is anchored.
Today I will remind myself that God still has me, my heart and my hope even though life's battle continues to roar around me. I'll meditate on the truth that He is the keeper of my soul. I'll trust Him just for today. Will you join me in encouraging yourself to praise Him on this side of the battle?