This past week, our hearts have been saddened by the news of Russia attacking Ukraine. News reports have held headlines alluding to this being the darkest hour for Europe since World War II. As I’ve been thinking about this war and the headlines, my heart has returned to one of my favorite Psalms.
Psalm 27 is filled with the assurance of confident calm, despite chaos all around us. David wrote these words when his own life was filled with chaos:
“Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear,
Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the LORD
This only do I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To gaze on the beauty of the LORD
And to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
He will keep me safe in his dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
And set me high upon a rock.”
Notice, it is David’s confidence in God that gives him calm. David visualizes God as his light and salvation, his stronghold and hiding place. When David refers to a rock, he is referencing God. The rock is a symbol of God’s strength, might, and protection. Then David goes on to write, “one thing.” If you have a Bible, circle those words. Pause a moment and consider. What is your “one thing”? David seeks the LORD as his one thing. He sets his focus on God and this is the key to his calm.
As I’ve been reflecting on these verses this morning, I have several thoughts for you to encourage your heart.
Strengthen Your Courage with Scripture. I love the way David speaks directly to his own fear. He begins the Psalm with a mighty declaration, “the LORD is my light and salvation!” The words we speak over ourselves are powerful, and this is why it’s so important to speak scripture over your own soul. Start your day by reading a portion of scripture out loud. The Word of God is powerful, and as you speak it out loud, your heart hears those words and receives them as truth. You might even take this a step further and memorize key passages. The more you memorize scripture, the more ammunition you give the Holy Spirit to use in your life against the enemy. I have memorized many key passages that I can recite from memory whenever my heart grows anxious. In addition, in the past several years, I have begun reading a Psalm out loud each morning. I read it as a declaration over my life. My eyes see the Word of God and my ears hear the Word of God. When you declare the Word of God over your fears, you strengthen your courage.
Remind Yourself of Who God Is. David reminds himself through this Psalm of God’s Almighty character. Satan loves nothing more than to upend our trust in the goodness of God. So he barrages our minds with fear, worry, anxiety, and doubt. When we remind ourselves of the truth of God’s Almighty character, we silence the enemy. All throughout the scriptures, God challenges His people to remember. Remember His mighty character, remember His loving kindness, and remember his acts of faithfulness. Train your brain to remember! When doubt or fear come creeping in, remind yourself that God is still on the throne. He is still good, loving, and kind. He will hold you fast and will not let go. At the end of the Psalm, David makes another powerful declaration: “I remain confident of this; I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). Why not claim that statement as your own and declare it over your life every day this week?
Develop Daily Rhythms to Pause and Commune with God. Learn to enjoy God’s presence when you wake, praising Him for His love. As you move through your day, stop mid-morning and mid-afternoon and enjoy Him for a moment. In the evening, before you fall asleep, thank Him for His faithfulness. David writes, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life” (Psalm 27:4). Friend, experiencing His presence and peace will hold you steady in the wonkiness of life. Stop and savor His presence. Your body is His temple, which means He is with you at all times. Learn to develop a daily rhythm of pausing and praising. I know that life can get crazy.
At different times in my day, whether I’m in an airport, or at home writing, or running errands, I pause. I thank the LORD for His presence. I tell Him I love Him and that I’m so very thankful for all He has done in my life. I might stand silently for a few minutes and simply know in my spirit that God is with me. Ah, there is such joy and peace in His presence. Seek Him as your “one thing.”
Scripture teaches us that there will be wars and rumors of wars until the end. When war breaks out around us, learn the secrets of strengthening your soul with scripture, reminding yourself who God is, and developing daily rhythms to be with God. In the chaos, He will hold you steady.
Here’s a new worship song just released by New Life Worship called Our God Is Over All.
For more reflections on the Psalms, order The Extraordinary Power of Praise.