We live in a very fearful society. A glance at today’s headlines reveals why. Consider this one: “With every missile test, the leader of North Korea moves closer to his stated goal of a preemptive nuclear strike against American cities.” (Great! Annihilation.)
Ponder the implications of this one: “The massive drug bust today could lead to more deportation…” Or think about this one: “More LA residents fear a repeat of the 1992 riots.” (I remember those scary days!)
And those are just today’s reports. With a steady diet of those kinds of predictions, it doesn’t take long for fear to grip the hearts of men and women.
In our Bibles, David faced a set of circumstances that evoked great fear. He knew Saul was actively trying to kill him. When Doeg, Saul’s chief shepherd spoke out against David, he fled in fear. And as he hid in trepidation, he penned the words to Psalm 27.
For the first six verses, David expresses his confidence in God. He calls Him his light and stronghold. In light of that confidence, he asks the rhetorical questions, “Whom shall I fear?” “Of whom shall I be afraid?”
But David shifts gears during the next seven verses. As he addresses his needs and fears, he begins to use a whole series of imperatives with the Lord. Several “commands” come out of David’s mouth: “Hear me!” “Do not hide your face!” “Teach me!” “Do not hand me over to my adversaries!”
There is boldness there. It is respectful, but passionate. It is rooted in his personal relationship with God. He is approaching the throne of God with confidence. (See Hebrews 4:16)
But the very best part of this psalm comes in verse 14. David sums up his antidote for those pressing fears with the concept of “waiting.” He says, “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
The Hebrew term for “wait” carries the idea of twisting or stretching. It is describing the making of a strong, powerful rope. Twisting and weaving ourselves so tightly around the Lord replaces our weaknesses and fears with His power. As we wait, our frailties are exchanged for God’s incredible strength.
So this week, as you reflect on the global news or the news in your own family, let’s choose to focus our prayer time in a deliberate sequence of thoughts. Let’s start by reiterating what we know. God is still on the throne. And then, let’s boldly express what we need. James tells us that the prayer of the righteous is powerful.
And lastly, let’s wait for Him to work on our behalf. The act of waiting will strengthen our weak hearts and keep us focused on His provision instead of our fears.
Remember: “For God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)