Monday, June 7, 2010

Psalm 27 – Antidote for Fear and Loneliness

“I am still confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.”

~Psalm 27:13 (NIV).

As I ran my eye over the fourteen verses of Psalm 27, there are the famous ones—particularly verses 1, 4 and 14—but I always, where I can, like to pick out the little hidden nugget most people don’t hear about, due the slanted focus on more commonly used verses.

The trouble is some commonly used verses become almost cliché and the value wears clear off them—we become estranged to their eternal power.

I knew of a youth group once who used Psalm 27 as their catchcry and I think it’s indeed a good psalm for the younger player. It speaks of innocence and almost naivety; perhaps best put as a ‘naivety of faith’—a.k.a. the heart after God. It is, after all, ascribed to David.

Having said that, we’re all ‘young players’ this side of eternity—we never truly ‘make it.’

Grappling with Fear

Many people will attempt to hold to the logic of God’s Word and yet they’ll still struggle immensely with fear. Been there, done that, even ticked it off... perhaps.

But fear is such a sweepingly insidious thing that crowds us when we least expect or prepare for it. It overwhelms us for hopelessness.

In the context of the psalm, perhaps David has invested in and constructed his faith in such a way—that by leaning always on God—he knew little disabling fear, even in the midst of some woefully scary situations.

Fear for known stimuli is one thing; anxiety—that malignant sort of generalised fear—is another thing totally. We almost fear being anxious because we feel not only afraid but crazy too—it defies rational explanation. It is like, Where is this coming from?”

Meditating on Psalm 27 – To Bolster Faith in Subjugating Fear

What works slowly but never more assuredly is the process of meditating on God’s Word.

It works in a funny way. When we invest in a reading of Psalm 27—perhaps ten or twenty times a day, or praying intently over it—for a season, we will to see the results, if we’re consistent and determined enough about it.

Our faith is somehow being augmented. God works this way almost inexplicably, though there are also some sound psychological explanations.

Sooner or later we’ve programmed the mind to react just like David’s did. The heart can still detect the fear—nothing changes there—but the mind rapidly learns the ability not to believe everything it sees. The mind is ‘enabled’ finally—against fear—in this way.

The mind revolts against the flimsy-at-times heart and conforms the heart to what the reality is—that reality that’s real, but that which we can’t often see in our times rattled with fear.

Now, Where Does ‘Loneliness’ Fit In?

Most of us know loneliness very well. She generally comes in totally uninvited. We’ve possibly also known loneliness in the notional crowded room—it’s maybe one of the worst kinds.

Loneliness is often the predecessor to fear and its cousins.

Spiritually, the devil likes to get us isolated and alone before he sets to work on plaguing us with doubt, which starts destroying our confidence; hence he gets us doubting our faith in the goodness of God.

The Holy Spirit – Mighty to Save in our Moments of Need

The good thing is when we do focus on meditating on Psalm 27, slowly but surely the indwelt Presence of the holy and powerful living God—the Holy Spirit—begins to contend for us, helping us believe, and most importantly helping us to know at a mind level what to believe.

It’s with this sort of perspective we can see the truth in the profiled verse at top.

Our confidence is such that it lives with us, enabling us to truly see the goodness of God in this land of the living. We begin to see routinely and randomly the awesome and countless blessings of life.

And this catapults us into new stratospheres of the faith-life never previously known.

There really is no limit to this bliss known of the Presence of the Lord.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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