A few days after wondering about this, I spent some time in Psalm 3, which says,
You, O Lord, are a shield about me.
My glory and the One who lifts my head. (Ps 3:3)
The first statement in this verse, “You are a shield about me” is about objective security. Whether we feel afraid or not, we have the promise of God that He is our protector. I think “You … are the One who lifts my head” is about subjective security, about feeling secure. God not only protects us, He encourages us (i.e., puts courage in us).
When God protects us, whether we know it or not, He is a shield about us. When He protects us and tells us so, then He is the One who lifts our heads (by His promises). When He gives us supernatural peace that overrides our fears, that is also an example of His being the One who lifts our heads (directly). The Psalm doesn’t prove by itself that He ever gives us peace directly like that because it actually doesn’t say anything at all about how God lifts our heads. Still, when He does, I somehow like having this imagery to think about it with.
The Psalm points to the fact it is part of God’s character to lift us up when we are down. 2 Corinthians 7:6 simply says, “But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us …”