The apostle Paul had a hero. If not a hero, he had someone whose faith he wanted to emulate, a faith that inspired and encouraged him to keep going in the face of life-threatening opposition. Paul hints at his hero here in this verse.
“I believed therefore I spoke,” is a quote from Psalm 116:10. It was common practice for Jewish speakers to cite a fragment of Scripture and his listeners would naturally grasp that he was referring to the entire larger work. Paul quotes this part of a verse to connect his readers to the entire psalm. He shows us that he looks for comfort and encouragement in the psalms just like we do.
The psalmist speaks of being delivered from certain death,(v.3-4) of testifying to God’s intervention, (v.8) but with the understanding that the death of a believer is not the worst possible outcome (v.15).
In Second Corinthians, Paul echoes those ideas – being delivered from certain death (1:8), testifying to God’s intervention (1:10) but with the understanding that the death of a believer is not the worst possible outcome (5:1-3).
Paul saw himself in the experience of the psalmist and in those inspired words, he found a resolve not to let the threat of death, or opposition, or any other difficulty silence him. The message was too important, and God was too good to keep quiet.
Both Paul and the psalmist determined that circumstances were not going to determine the depth or strength of their faith. Instead the depth and strength of their faith allowed them to reframe their circumstances with an eternal perspective.
Do you have a Scriptural hero or a psalm that especially encourages you?