It was February 1967 and I had just had my 16th birthday, although I don’t recall any great celebrations. In fact. all I remember was recently moving into yet another rental property with my parents and younger sister. None of us were particularly happy with life (or each other) at that stage. Due to my parent’s financial difficulties it was the third move in as many years and that meant another High School to adjust to and new people to meet and try and make friends with. Both a real struggle for me who had just scraped through my studies in my previous years and was very shy and lacking confidence when it came to forming new relationships.
I recall there were very few people in my life that I trusted (including my parents who were as good as divorced) and at that stage of my life there was certainly no sense or knowledge of God to talk to about all my difficulties. So, it was just a case of “grin and bear it” and get through any way I could find, despite having no confidence in anyone (including myself) or anything, that things would work out.
But what a difference a few years make! Three years later, in February 1970, I discovered that I didn’t have to try and make something of life all by myself. I discovered, having picked up and read the New Testament, that there is a God who cares and can be trusted. I found a new confidence that comes through a relationship with Jesus.
Psalm 27 is sometimes called a Psalm of Confidence. Concerning this type of psalm Brueggemann says: “they speak of a relationship with [God] that is utterly trustworthy in the face of every threat. Presumably that deep conviction has grown out of a specific experience. [How] else…would one know to trust. These psalms are some of the best known and best loved, for they offer a faith and a life that has come to joyous trusting resolution. The speaker of these psalms cannot imagine a situation that would cause doubt or trouble enough to jeopardize that trust. The relationship has been tested severely, and [God] has shown himself to be profoundly reliable and powerful. That is to be celebrated.” (see references # 2)
So far in Psalm 27 we have heard all about that confidence that David has in his God and the deep desire he has to know God more and more. But the poem now moves into a prayer for God’s help. Listen (and learn) to David’s many words as he confidently seeks God concerning his problems:
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
What a wonderful thing to know God in such a way that we can just pour out our hearts like this to him about all that concerns us. And not with some kind of airy fairy “hope-so” attitude that God will hear and answer, but express these things with utter confidence in our Father’s grace and love as revealed in Him sending Jesus to deliver us and give us eternal life.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
He then gives us, the ones reading this great psalm, some good advice. He says:
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
The Passion Translation puts it like this:
Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!
Over 50 years have passed since my 16th birthday and life has certainly had its ups and downs, but I would not be exaggerating if I said, what I’ve learned through it all:
He has never disappointed me!
So, friends, today, whatever your situation, Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint YOU!
Father, I can’t imagine what my life would have looked like if you hadn’t intervened when you did. My life has been so blessed knowing you and trusting in you no matter what came my way -good or bad! You have never disappointed. Praise the Lord!