Posted by: pollyw | July 28, 2012

For those Scary Times

This morning I was reading Psalm 27, a passage I’ve seen many times before, and would be tempted to just, “Yeah, read that before, read that before, read that before…” my way through it.  Instead, the Lord really opened my eyes to some neat things in there.  Here’s a part of the passage for reference as we talk about it. 

Psalm27:1b-3.

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me
    to devour my flesh,[a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then will I be confident.

As I said, this is a familiar passage and it would be very easy to read it and file it under, “Do not fear, God is here” and go on  my way.   What He showed me today was how many different stages of a situation we can have faith in Him for. 

Look back at the passage and notice when it says the psalmist wasn’t afraid.  There are four different times.  In verse 2, it’s when “evil men advance”.  We’ll call this Stage 1.  Then, in the second part of verse 2, it’s when “my enemies and foes attack me”.  Stage 2.  Do you see the other two stages coming up?  An “army besiege me” and “war breaks out”.  Stage 3 and 4.  This psalmist is saying.”You know what?  I’m not afraid at any stage of the game.  When my enemies advance, attack, besiege, and even when war breaks out, I will not be afraid.  My God is there for me. “

It  just occurred to me as I am writing this, that this speaks to the situation where things seem to be getting worse, and it feels like God is not hearing our cries for help.  I mean it’s a long walk from enemies advancing against you to full out war.  And if you’ve been praying for God to help you from the beginning, yet you still find yourself  with “war breaking out against” you, that could get depressing.  This Psalm is there to give us hope.  Want to know how it ends when war is breaking out? 

Well, it’s kind of like a good hero movie.  Here are verses 5 and 6.

For in the day of trouble 
    He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle
    and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

How’s that for a good ending?  Not only does He come in and keep us safe and hide us  in His dwelling, but then He sets us high upon a rock in there so that our head is above our enemies who surround us. 

When I visualize this, I imagine a picture where there is a huge army on one side of a wall, beseiging and such, but I am on the other side of that fortified wall, placed there by God.  But God’s not letting me cower in the corner of His stronghold, no, He lifts me up high upon a rock and my head is higher than those other guys.  I’m assuming I can see those enemies while I’m up out of their reach, because how else would I know my head is higher than theirs?

So, when those bad circumstances come up, or enemies, as I like to call them, we can have faith in God at all stages because we know His heart for us.  He died to save us, and save us He does.  He is there at the beginning and end stages of it all.  Even when it seems the army is closing in, He picks us up and puts us behind that wall of His.  Then He lifts us up above those circumstances and they get to see us high above them, safe and sound.  And do you notice, He hides us, He sets us up on the rock.  No rock climbing experience needed, He’s got it covered.

He’s amazing and pretty awesome in His love for us, even in the scary times. 

What about you?  Have you had this amazing experience in your life?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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Responses

  1. Psalm 27 (NASB) got me through my hospitalization experience for my finger in 2001. Verses 13 and 14 spoke most eloquently to me, esp. the first five words of v. 13; then v. 14 gave me my “marching orders.”
    13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
    In the land of the living.
    14 Wait for the Lord;
    Be strong and let your heart take courage;
    Yes, wait for the Lord.

    I waited and He was faithful to preserve me. I’m praying for Darlene, that she will have a similar testimony as a result of her current health issues.

    • Neat, thanks for sharing Paulina. I love that you say v.14 gave you your marching orders. It’s so nice to have something to hold onto when things are so scary and overwhelming. Thank you, also for the prayers for Darlene. I know she appreciates them!

  2. Polly! I’m reading your post and smiling to myself, as I have been re-reading Psalm 27 myself. God is wonderful in how He continuously encourages through His word and other people. I read this and dated it a few years ago when I was going through a particularly difficult time and found much comfort in knowing that God is there. He is faithful. He will bring this to resolution, either in this life or the next. All I have to do is be strong and wait for the Lord. (not always easy) and a I read that again this week, I was again encouraged that the Lord knows. Inside and out and we are known by Him and He knows our needs. We are to trust and wait. I’m glad I’m trusting Him and I know Darlene is as well. Continuing to pray for her and your family. So good to talk to you last week!
    Love you guys! Mary

    • Thanks for the prayers for Darlene, Mary! That is so neat that you dated that Psalm in your Bible. It is such a cool thing to find those dated passages sometime later and see how God was showing you something. I love it when I come across a verse I dated and I can see how God used it in my life at that time, it’s always so encouraging.


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