Lessons from Psalm 27- of David. (NIV)
By: Laura Taranto
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27 is a powerful prayer of David, and I recommend reading the whole thing even before you read this blog post. I will focus on a few key verses here and summarize the rest for you along the way. In the psalm, David is going through an overwhelming time, but chooses to praise God in the midst of his circumstances. He speaks about his enemies attacking him and accusing him. He prays God will hide him and not let him get defeated. He is really in the thick of it! In the middle of this chaotic time, he declares that God is his light and salvation (his only hope), the stronghold (the safe place, the fortress) of his life. He declares:
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
In other words, even in the worst-case scenario, no matter what, he will choose to be confident in God and not give in to fear. Maybe it feels like you are in the middle of a battle, facing a
challenging situation in your life right now. Maybe you have no clue how to get through the circumstances surrounding you. It could be finances—maybe the bills are piled up and you just can’t seem to stay afloat. Maybe you don’t even know if you can keep your home or pay for something important. Or maybe it is relationally. Perhaps your marriage is not going so well, or your children are not close to God right now. It could be an emotional or physical health challenge you’re battling. Maybe you want to follow God whole-heartedly, but there are things you can’t seem to get free from no matter how hard you try. Sometimes you just don’t know what to do. In these times of life, choosing faith over fear is not always easy. Let’s learn from David, a man after God’s own heart, and see how he responds in his desperate situation.
David doesn’t only praise God after his battle is won. David’s battle strategy is PRAISE! Praise is what gives him courage. Throughout the psalm David goes back and forth between declaring who God is and what God will do on his behalf and then talking about his enemies and how much he desperately needs God to save him. At one point he mentions his parents forsaking him. When David was a child and his father was approached by Samuel the prophet and asked to present his sons, he didn’t even think of David or call him over. He didn’t think David would be the one to be chosen for anything significant. When David kills Goliath, he is not a soldier, he is just sent to bring his older brothers some food. David seems to feel alone in the world and forgotten. When those around him don’t believe in him, he keeps declaring that God is on his side. Maybe you feel like that somedays, like no one is in your court. Maybe your heart is going back and forth between trusting God and looking at all the mess all around you that feels so impossible.
It seems to me that David’s heart is going back and forth between confident faith and desperation. It is as though he is trying to convince his heart to believe that God will come through for him through declaration and praise. Having emotions, even fear, is completely normal! We are human. We all go through these ups and downs, especially when life’s challenges come our way. The way we overcome is to keep praising and praying, not just when we are feeling confident, but also when we feel afraid and confused. David tells God that he wants to live in His house all his days. He wants to be close to God no matter what, every single day. He asks God to keep him safe. Can you begin to pray like that? David writes this:
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
It is interesting that David writes he will “sacrifice with shouts of joy.” It is not always easy to praise. Sometimes your worship is a sacrifice, a choice that doesn’t come naturally. When you praise and shout for joy, you are focusing your attention on God, not on your problems. You are changing your mindset and inviting God into your situation. David asks God to teach him His ways. Maybe you need to ask God to teach you and show you how to win your battle. He has a
battle strategy for you too, and often you get the strategy in the middle of praising. Think back on your life… did you ever figure out the solution or get the strategy from God by worrying and being afraid? No, it is when you turn to God in the middle of the storm, even with all your emotions, that He meets you. It is when you exchange your fear for His peace. Jesus stills every storm if we let Him.
We build a history with God when we praise him as a sacrifice, not just when we feel like it. We hear His voice, and He gives us the strength to face every battle. He always leads us to victory.
That doesn’t mean you get everything you want in life though. He promises to be with us in the fires and to lead us through the deserts. We all go through challenges, that is part of life. The victory is knowing and trusting that no matter what, the Living God is for you! He loves you, and
He will never leave you or forsake you. He has a good plan for you. David ends his psalm with
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
That is my prayer for you today. I pray that no matter what you face, you will be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord, the light of your life, to come and rescue you. Choose to praise your way out of fear and into faith. Turn on some worship music and begin to praise. Read
Psalm 27 out loud and declare it over your situation. No matter what surrounds you, God is the stronghold of your life, and you don’t have to be afraid anymore. In His Presence, you are safe and cared for, and not alone. You will see His goodness and you will get the victory, when you trust in God!
We are cheering you and standing with you in prayer. Comment below with how we can pray for you in this season.