Comforting Words for Trying Times
In view of the recent event in a rural Texas church I am republishing this devotion.
By Rev. Larron Jackson
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
Ps. 27:13-14 (NKJV)
Scripture repeatedly reminds us that there is “often” a divine correlation between “spiritual endurance” and “seeing the power of God made real in our lives” as we seek God’s face for the strength we need to overcome the trials and tribulations of this journey. (Read: Ps. 25:3-5; Isa. 40:28-31; II Tim. 1:12-13; and I Pet. 2:19-21.) Scripture further declares that the trials of life are the “spiritual furnace” through which we must travel that we might grow strong in our faith in Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:5-9). In Ps. 27 King David helps us to get a clearer understanding of this faith development process.
Before David could write his testimony of faith that appears in Psalm 27, his life had to come under the tutelage of God. Though chosen by God to be king of Israel, David’s heart had to be disciplined and shaped by the hand of God. In fact, Psalm 27 was written during one of the darkest periods in David’s life. (Absalom, David’s beloved son, wanted to kill him so that he could be king; Famine plagued the nation of Israel; and the Philistines stood ready to attack Israel.) By this time in David’s life he had come to know that nothing and no one was greater than the God he served!!
David’s testimony of his faith in God comes to rest on verses 13 and 14 of Psalm 27. In verse 13, David says, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Loosing heart or giving up on life may be a reasonable response for many people, even some believers, when we are confronted with the harsh realities of this journey. There are times when we feel overwhelmed by life and we choose to give up. David says that the deciding factor in many such events is our faith in God. Instead of giving up, David called to his remembrance the number of times that God had strengthened him, forgiven him of his sins and showed mercy on him. Because of his relationship with God and confidence in God, David now lived in expected hope of what God could do with the “worst of situations” in life. God invites us into the same on-going relationship with Him. God wants every believer that claims the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to live with the expected hope of seeing “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
In verse 14, David provides “words of comfort” for the inevitable “trying times”, that are part of our journey of faith. David says, “Wait on the Lord.” Whatever you are going through, if you trust God for life and strength, keep trusting in God for life and strength. David says that as you hold fast to your faith in God, “God will strengthen your heart” for every challenge of life and faith. David says that God will keep every believer in His watch care as we walk in faith and faithfulness with Him. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says the same in Matthew 28:20. (Also read Hebr. 13:5-6).
Prayer: Lord God, strengthen our hearts, minds and spirits that regardless of the challenges of life and faith that we encounter we will remain steadfast in faith as we walk after You. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. (Amen.)
Rev. Larron D. Jackson, DMin
Denver Cluster Ministry and Mission Coach