Psalm 27 (NRSV)
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?
2 When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
6 Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, do I seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10 If my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.
13 I believe that I shall see
the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Fear. This is a word we read and hear a lot today. It is also manifestation of how we may feel at this time. In reading David’s Psalm we see that even a King cannot avoid this feeling. In these verses David reveals his game-plan for overcoming and coping with fear. His game-plan is a good one for us.
First, and foremost, David knows that with God on his side, he can’t lose (vss. 1 – 3). He has endured many battles and much adversity, yet, with God’s defense he has overcome all. He lost some battles, but he won the wars. One might say, “Well, that is easy to say after the war has been won, but during the heat of battle when the outcome is uncertain, how does one confidently believe that God is all I need?” David gives us, as believers, five coping skills to overcome fear during our battles in life.
1. Worship (vss. 4 – 5). This is David’s main focus for coping. It is the key to opening the rewards of the other skills.
2. Fellowship (vs.6). Authentic worship in God’s House lifts our spirit makes us joyful and desirous of spending more time with other believers.
3. Prayer and Meditation (vss. 7 – 10). This skill set is all about spending time making God’s thoughts, our thoughts.
4. Bible Study (vss. 11 – 13). This is the “lamp and light” for our path.
5. Service (vs.14). “Waiting” is service in the Lord’s name – “putting feet to our prayers.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for your servant, David, the example of a man who loved and was loved by You. May we have the strength and conviction to live life victoriously, as he did, in spite of our fears. Help us to embrace the coping skills for overcoming fear that David has shared with us. Let our lives, like David’s, show God’s light and salvation to those around us.
Rev. Dr. Allen Wilson