Psalm 27:1-14 How to Have Confidence Over My Fears
There is a famous phrase on t-shirts entitled “No Fear.” It represents a philosophy that says that I won’t fear anything in life. Here, David describes his “No Fear” philosophy. He has no fear because of his salvation. Because God is his light and salvation and stronghold, he has no fear. When bad people and had things happen, his heart will not be afraid. He fears nothing. Yet, he enjoys being in the presence of God. In the same way, I should not fear. I don’t need to fear. There may be many reasons one would think to be fearful. However, because of my salvation, I should have no fear.1
If we are going to live the life that Jesus intended, we need to learn confidence. This confidence is not a self-centered confidence. Instead, it is a God-centered confidence. This confidence teaches me to trust God so that I don’t have to fear. This psalm shares ways in which we can trust God and have confidence in Him to help us overcome our fears. I can have confidence over my fears because of my salvation. There are four characteristics of my salvation in these verses that show me that I can have confidence over my fears:
FOUR WAYS MY FAITH GIVES ME CONFIDENCE OVER FEAR2
1. Express Faith (Psalm 27:1-2)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.” (Psalm 27:1–2, HCSB)
We know David is in trouble, and fear is knocking on his door. The rest of the psalm speaks of his enemies and trouble. Yet, here he is expressing his faith out loud and aggressively. He is saying what he knows even though his feelings don’t match what he’s expressing.
I need to express my faith. I need to say it and write it down. By expressing your faith during the time of trouble, you take the first step toward healing and wholeness.
2. Extend Faith (Psalm 27:3)
“Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident.” (Psalm 27:3, HCSB)
I want you to notice that secondly, David moved from expressing his faith to extending his faith. I once read a secular management book that suggested writing catastrophe reports. In the midst of your trouble, you sit down with a yellow pad of paper, imagine the worst result you could have from the trouble you’re experiencing, and write it in detail. When you read it aloud, you realize this problem probably won’t get that bad, and you start feeling better.
Sometimes we spend so much time talking about what’s wrong in our lives. We replay the worst images in our mind of the worst-case scenarios. We don’t take enough time to express our faith and say, “Lord, even if this bad situation got ten times worse, You would still be there for me. I have confidence in this. You are the God of the extremes in my life.” Express your faith, and then extend your faith.
3. Experience Faith (Psalm 27:4-5)
“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple. For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.” (Psalm 27:4–5, HCSB)
This is a wonderful, rich verse. David has now whittled his life down to one thing. He says, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek.”
When problems come to many people, the first thing they do is quit coming to church where they would have been confronted with the Word of God. The last thing a Christian needs to give up is community. If you allow trouble to come between you and God, it will move you away from Him. But if you refuse to let trouble separate you from God, it will stay on the outside and be a force that pushes you toward God. It all depends on where you let the trouble come into your life.
4. Enjoy Faith (Psalm 27:6)
“Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord.” (Psalm 27:6, HCSB)
Not only do we need to experience our faith, but we need to enjoy our faith. Praise is not just worship; praise is also warfare. When we feel least like worshiping God, that’s when we need to worship Him most. Worship makes God big in your heart. Worship magnifies God; it puts awareness of who God is into your heart so you begin to sense and appreciate the greatness of almighty God. When you see His greatness and you put your trouble in that picture, everything changes. When you measure your trouble against others, you might be depressed; but when you measure your trouble against the greatness and magnificence of God, that’s a great thing. No wonder your head gets lifted.
David tells us the principles in Psalm 27:1-6. Then in verses 7–14, he prays.
MY PRAYERS BUILD MY CONFIDENCE3
1. True Prayer Responds to God’s Call (Psalm 27:7-8)
“Lord, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me. My heart says this about You, “You are to seek My face.” Lord, I will seek Your face.” (Psalm 27:7–8, HCSB)
In the midst of his trouble, he heard God say, “Seek my face, David.” David obeyed. In every difficult situation, there’s always a time in the midst of it when the voice of God speaks to us and says to us, “Seek My face.” When this happens to you, respond. True prayer in time of trouble is really a response to God.
2. True Prayer Relies on God’s Provision (Psalm 27:9-10)
“Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger. You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation. Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me.” (Psalm 27:9–10, HCSB)
In David’s case, his father and mother never forsook him. Even if his mom and dad kicked him out and disowned him, he knows God would never do that. Even if your mother and father forsake you, God will be there to provide for you. He is your father, your heavenly Father.
3. True Prayer Resigns to God’s Will (Psalm 27:11-13)
“Because of my adversaries, show me Your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path. Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence. I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:11–13, HCSB)
David’s prayer is a prayer of humble submission to God’s will. Yet, sometimes we don’t see God’s will because we don’t look for it. You know that you can keep a prayer journal. This journal will help you on your journey with God. We can keep a little journal in which we write things God does. Then when I’m in trouble and my faith gets down, I open up my journal and read my list that shows the goodness of God in the land of my living. It has been a great encouragement to me.
4. True Prayer Remains Calm When God Delays (Psalm 27:14)
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14, HCSB)
God isn’t on our time schedule. We need to remain calm when God delays. This is a “wait sandwich.” In the “authority sandwich” in Matthew 28:19-20, Christians are able to make disciples because that command is sandwiched between the authority of Jesus. We can pray and see God work in our lives when we learn to wait for Him.
When trouble comes, express, extend, experience, and enjoy your faith. When you pray in times of trouble, respond to God, rely on Him, resign to His will, and remain calm until His help arrives. All of these principles are available to you just like they were to David. You can write your own psalm, and God will hear you.What the voice of confidence sounds like – boldness in prayer: (Psalm 27:5-7, 14)
Ruth Bell Graham vividly remembers September 2, 1933. She was thirteen. Her father, a missionary surgeon in China, and her mother were sending her to boarding school in what is now Pyongyang, North Korea. For Ruth, it was a brutal parting, and she earnestly prayed she would die before morning. But dawn came, leaving her prayers unanswered, and she gripped her bags and trudged toward the riverfront. She was leaving all that was loved and familiar: her Chinese friends, the missionaries, her parents, her home, her memories. The Nagasaki Maru carried her slowly down the Whangpoo River into the Yangtze River and on to the East China Sea.
A week later she was settling into her spartan dormitory. Waves of homesickness pounded her like a churning surf. Ruth kept busy by day, but evenings were harder. She would bury her head in her pillow and cry herself to sleep, night after night, week after week. She fell ill, and in the infirmary she read through the Psalms, finding comfort in Psalm 27:10—When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.
The hurt and fear and doubt persisted. Finally, in desperation, she went to her sister Rosa, also enrolled in Pyongyang. “I don’t know what to tell you to do,” Rosa replied matter-of-factly, “unless you take some verse and put your own name in it. See if that helps.” Ruth picked up her Bible and turned to a favorite chapter, Isaiah 53, and put her name in it: “But He was wounded for Ruth’s transgressions; by His stripes Ruth is healed.”Her heart leaped, and the healing began.*45
1 Jim Erwin, “No Fear,” Psalm 27:1-4, 8 December 2014 Year B, Lectionary Reflections Year B (2014-2015), Logos Bible Software Notes, as well as Internet, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2014/12/08/no-fear/, accessed on 20 October 2016.
2 David Jeremiah, God, I Need Some Answers: Life Lessons from the Psalms (Study Guide) (San Diego: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005), 116–119.
3 David Jeremiah, God, I Need Some Answers: Life Lessons from the Psalms (Study Guide) (San Diego: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005), 119–120.
4 Morgan, On This Day, September 2nd.
5 Robert J. Morgan, “Find a Verse, and Put Your Name in It,” by Ruth Bell Graham, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 54–55.