"The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord — the thing I seek most — is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His Temple. For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At His sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psalm 27:1-8)
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I have never been surrounded by an army. I have never been physically attacked by enemies. But I have known war in my heart and spirit. I have felt the spiritual attacks. I have felt evil around me. I have been discouraged and disheartened. I have experienced trials that I did not know how they would end.
I am not sure about you, but it is sometimes hard to remain confident during those times. It's hard to not be afraid, to not tremble. How do we gain the confidence David speaks of? How do we remain in it?
We are given a few areas of direction in today's Psalm.
- Delight in who God is.
If we do not have an accurate picture of who God is, we cannot trust His faithfulness to us. We must know that He is good. We must know that He is true. We must know that He is just. And the list goes on and on.
It is a delight to know the Lord; to dwell on His perfections.
Though we will never fully grasp the full character of God, reading His word and learning about Him is crucial to our ability to remain confident and trust in Him.
- Find joy in sacrifice.
Going through trials will always lead us to sacrifice. Whether we sacrifice our time, sleep, money, attention, sacrifice is major part of our Christian walk.
We are called to sacrifice, not out of bitterness or obligation, but out of joy and trust that the Lord will bless us for our obedience. We must look to the bigger picture of what God is doing through our small sacrifice. He knows all the days of our lives, and we can rely on His goodness.
It is then that we are able to "hold [our] head high above [our] enemies" and "offer sacrifices with shouts of joy."
- Seek His heart.
We will not learn to be confident in His plans for us if we are not communicating with Him. This is why the psalmist writes of the "one thing that he seeks most" being to live in the house of the Lord.
God has been teaching me so much about prayer these past couple weeks. If I do not diligently come to Him, I will not know His voice. I will not hear His beckoning to me to walk on a certain path or make certain decisions.
Prayer directs us. It is how we create and cultivate relationship with our Protector. We must learn to lean on Him when times are easy so that when trials come, we are confident in His affection for us.
So how do you need to gain confidence in the Lord? Do you need to delight in His character, His faithfulness and goodness? Do you need to let go of bitterness and be okay with the sacrifice He is calling you to for the display of His power, provision, and glory? Or do you need to become more dedicated in your prayer life with Him, to call on Him, to come to Him as He desires for you to?
I pray that we can grow in holy confidence today. He is able.
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Kate, Declare Glory