Life is full of ups and downs. Even though we try hard to make things nice and clean, the journey of life is a jagged one. And so is our walk of faith as we hope in Jesus. But because Jesus is consistent and unchanging, we can have a constant confidence in who he is, no matter what else is going on around us. In this encouraging message from Psalm 27, find hope for your everyday life as we acknowledge together some of life’s messiest moments…and learn how to walk in settled confidence in the midst of it all.
1. The Lord is light, salvation and strength
- When we get caught up in our anxieties, it’s easy to forget how big our God is. Without even realizing it, we can think, “I know God forgave my sin, but what about this situation?” If God can forgive the sins we’ve committed, he can do anything. Our problems, whether circumstances or sin itself, all submit to the power of Jesus.
- If our first understanding of God is that he can forgive our sin, that should give us some perspective. Our confidence does not change with circumstances, because it is settled in the character of who God is.
- If we find ourselves anxious in a particular area, we need to let God’s character make us confident. As we understand and trust him more each day, our confidence suddenly seeps into more and more areas of our life.
When you think of God, which of his characteristics come to mind first? How do you see God as light, salvation and strength in your life? How does confidence in who God is shape your confidence in other areas of your life?
2. Stay rooted.
- Often, we know what is true in our head, but we don’t allow it to transform us, settle us. That’s what confidence in the character of God has the power to do. Even in times when we don’t feel secure, we can find security in the trustworthy character of God.
- When we’re afraid we need to make the conscious decision to stay rooted in who God is. David lived in very violent times, and was rarely safe or secure. But we see from this Psalm that God’s presence was his security.
- All it takes to live in that security is a rooted confidence in God, but the decision is one we have to make. If we don’t choose to take God at his word every day, we won’t have a settled confidence. We might know the truth, but we need to claim it and believe it.
What do you do in times of doubt? What are you doing practically to stay rooted in who God is right now?
3. Seek His face and rejoice.
- God is not hiding from us. He wants us to know who he is. He has reached out to humanity again and again. He has done everything except force himself upon us. All that is required of us is to acknowledge who he is and what he’s done.
- This is sometimes hard, because we confuse God’s character with the character of people. So much of what we experience of God is tied to what our family experiences have been. Understanding that God is above human personality and beyond our understanding is the first step of discovering who he is.
- When we are able to release our preconceived ideas of God and believe in him for who he truly is, we find joy. Joy is a disposition of the heart that trusts who God is and what he’s doing.
How have your family experiences and other life experiences shaped how you see God? How are you seeking God’s face and asking him to reveal himself to you as he truly is?
4. Hope births courage.
- Out of David’s difficult circumstance, we find a beautiful psalm of hope. He allowed his difficulty to become an opportunity for growth. He allowed himself to learn more of who God was and to trust that he knew what he was doing.
- That kind of belief produces songs of hope in the night. It produces psalms like this one. When we grow and learn and trust in difficulty, we can walk forward in courage, even if we are fearful.
- We might not be able to see all the way through to the end, but we can trust the God who does. As we wait in faith, our hope gives to birth to the courage we need on this journey.
What fears do you need to acknowledge to yourself and God right now? How is God inviting you to step forward in courage even while you are still afraid?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?