My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek. (NIV)
In Psalm 27, David’s poetry reflects his own struggle with fear. In the first verse, he asks “Whom shall I fear?” The answer comes in the following verses. David might fear the “wicked” who are trying to “devour” him or the “army” that is besieging and surrounding him (27:2-3, 6). He might be afraid of the “foes” who are “spouting malicious accusations” against him (27:12).
Have you ever felt afraid? I expect so, since fear is common to all human beings. Perhaps you were afraid in situations where you had literal enemies, where people were seeking to take your life. But even if you have never been in such dire straits, you probably know what it’s like to have metaphorical enemies advancing against you and seeking to devour you. Your “enemies” might have been stress over too much to do, hopeless situations at work, family conflict, or economic hardship. Maybe the army besieging you was a powerful addiction or deep depression.
What should we do when fear invades our hearts? We find an answer in Psalm 27. In verse 7, David calls out to the Lord, asking to be heard with mercy. Then David adds, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek.” In the Psalms, God’s face represents his presence and favor. Seeking God’s face means desiring relationship with him. It means turning your attention to God, looking for him, speaking to him, opening your heart to him.
So, if you’ll pardon a pretty awful pun, Psalm 27 shows us how to “face” our fears. We do so, at first, not by being courageous, not by crafting a plan, not by looking on the bright side, not by running away. Rather, we face our fears by seeking the face of God, by turning to him with heart, soul, mind, and strength. In God and God alone will we find peace and confidence to live for him each day.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you feel afraid, what do you do? In what ways do you seek God’s face? How have you experienced God’s presence in the midst of scary situations? Are you facing fears right now, fears that should drive you to a deeper relationship with the Lord?
PRAYER: Merciful God, how I thank you for being there when I seek you. Thank you for being so patient, so faithful, so trustworthy, so kind.
Lord, when I am afraid, may I turn to you. May I seek your face. May I find comfort and hope in you.
Thank you, O God, for making your face known to me in so many ways, most of all in Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray, Amen.
Here’s how . . . .
This devotional comes from The High Calling: Everyday Conversations about Work, Life, and God (www.thehighcalling.org). You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace. The High Calling is associated with Laity Lodge, where I work.