There are some who believe that by accepting Christ and becoming a Christian, you won’t have any more problems. Where in the world did they get that idea? — certainly not from the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul, after he accepted Christ, went through many hardships. (2 Cor. 11:22-33)
In Philippians 1:29 he wrote, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His sake.”
Satan not only loves to fill our lives with chaos but then he adds on fear. If he can flood our lives with fear, we will be so preoccupied with it that we will forget to trust God. Fear is not of God. In 2 Timothy 1:7, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind.”
Do you know God’s antidote for fear? In the much loved 23rd Psalm, verse 4, David, whose life was full of trouble wrote: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You (Lord) are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
We need to face our troubles and fears by realizing that we are not alone. The LORD is with us, every step of the way. His presence and power are greater than any trouble or fear we have. He wants us to trust Him. In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
I want to invite you to explore Psalm 27 with me. It is obvious that David was having significant troubles, but he begins by saying “The LORD is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid?” (vs. 1) We go through dark times in our lives. But Jesus is the light of the world and the light dispels darkness. Light in Scripture is frequently used to describe the warmth and presence of God’s love. One way we should deal with our troubles and fears is to express our faith in the ever-present LORD. That is what David was doing when he said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” He was expressing his faith.
In Mark 4:38-40, we read about a time in the life of Jesus when he was in a boat with His disciples and a severe storm came up. The disciples were terrified – Jesus was asleep. The disciples finally in desperation woke Him up and cried out, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” Jesus raised His arms and said, “Peace be still” and the storm ended. Then He turned and rebuked His disciples with these words, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” In times of trouble and fear, we need to express our faith in the ever-present LORD who can tame our storms.
One of the things I love to do when faced with trouble is rehearsed how the LORD has helped me with previous storms I faced. I know, from experience, that God hears and answers our prayers. Reliving some of these times and praising God for His supernatural intervention refreshes my faith and gives me confidence that my LORD will handle this trial as well.
We need to center our thoughts on God. We see David doing that in Psalm 27:4-5. “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek; that I may dwell 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. For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set high on a rock.”
David focused on the goodness and graciousness of the LORD. He got alone with the LORD and with God’s people. Sensing God’s loving presence with me and the love and prayers of the Jubilee family has made such a difference as I have been fighting my way back from my recent illness. God is with me and He cares. I am following the counsel of Peter in 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about you.” Later, in that same chapter, verses 10-11, the Apostle wrote, “In His kindness, God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So, after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All power to Him forever! Amen.”
Did you catch what Peter just wrote – “God will restore, support and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” When I read these words, it was as though God was personally speaking directly to me and saying “Leonard, this is what I am going to do for you! WOW!
Folks, we can’t let our problems come between us and God who loves us and is with us.
In Psalm 27:4-5, David teaches us that rather than let our troubles shut God out of our lives, He went to the house of the LORD. “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.” Folks, the temple wasn’t even built yet, but David went to a tent where the Ark of the Covenant was housed. That Ark represented God’s presence and power. David drew near to God and experienced and enjoyed God’s presence. In verse 5 he wrote, “For He will conceal me there when trouble comes; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me on a high rock.”
What was the result of David entering the presence of God? In verse six, we see him experiencing and enjoying the LORD’s favor. “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.”
Folks, we can have victory over our problems by coming to the LORD and abiding in Him. Realizing we win, we will fill our hearts with worship for the LORD, (Shouts of joy, singing, and praising the LORD, with music.)
Lastly, like David, we need to pray. God wants to hear from us. In verse 8, he says he heard God say, “Come and talk with me” and his response is “Lord, I am coming.”
Rest assured, God is listening and He will answer you. In Jeremiah 33:2-3 we have an incredible invitation from God. “This is what the LORD says – the LORD who made heaven and earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD; ‘Ask Me and I will tell (show) you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come’.”
In Psalm 27:9-10 David readily confesses his dependence on God. Basically, he is saying – “Even if everybody else forsakes me or abandons me, LORD, I know you never will.” We need to confess to the LORD that He is our one and only hope and that we will trust Him no matter what. He was totally open to God’s will. In verse 11 he prayed “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.”
David expected God to act on his behalf. We must do the same. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD here, in the land of the living.”
As I close our study in Psalm 27, I pray that like David we will give our problems over to God, trust Him totally, and expect Him to act on our behalf right now. You won’t want to be disappointed.
For His Glory,