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. NASB
No matter what’s happening, no matter how dark the moment, God is in control. He can be explicitly trusted. He’s working out a purpose beyond what we can imagine. David speaks with confidence in this psalm that he will see God’s goodness in this lifetime. When David says he will see God’s goodness in “the land of the living,” it means he believes God will answer his prayer in his lifetime. While we know that we will have to wait for the life to come to see all of His goodness, we can know that we will see His goodness while we’re still here, living in this broken world. Though darkness reigns over much of this world, we can be confident we will see his goodness.
The confidence found in verse 13 is the same confidence we need to speak over our trials. The enemy will try to steal that confidence from us by filling our heads and our situation with lies. He will cause us to worry and to doubt that God will bring good in our trials. The enemy will stir our thoughts into such a chaotic frenzy of fear about the future that we can’t see how God could possibly work it for good. Our anxiety rises and we can trip ourselves right into the pit of despair, exactly where the enemy wants us. We are isolated and alone in that pit, and God’s voice and our ability to see His goodness grows dim.
But speaking confidence of His goodness shines His light on our darkness, it is what brings the courage mentioned in verse 14 that we need to pull ourselves out of that pit. Take note David says, “let your heart take courage” - although it does say ‘be strong and courageous’ in other places in scripture, here it does not speak of courage in the active voice. It is passive - let your heart take courage. In other words, we don’t need to do anything, we simply need to allow His courage into our hearts. And how are we to do that? By speaking confidently of His goodness. The courage that is instilled in my heart when I speak confidently of His goodness, the way the Spirit moves and stirs my heart has been unmatched in any other situation in my life.
But that courage doesn’t come without waiting. Waiting is such an important component that David says it twice. But if we’re being honest, many of us do not wait well. Waiting can seem like a passive response in a situation that the world calls us to respond. Don’t misunderstand the directive to wait - waiting is active. Choosing to wait on the Lord to respond is an active response that shouts His goodness to the world. Biblical waiting is grounded in active trust, reliance, and dependence on God and His goodness.
Gerald Wilson said, “Waiting on God is hard work. Yet, it is one way - perhaps the only way - of demonstrating God’s strength manifest in our weakness. Whenever we rush frantically about trying to ‘do it’ on our own, we in effect become ‘functional atheists,’ denying by our actions that God is active in our lives. Often to admit that we are powerless is the first step to acknowledging God’s strength unleashed in our lives. The well-known serenity prayer is one expression of this need to rely on God: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ Acceptance is not resignation or despair but a step of trust and commitment. It is an expression of the confidence that the psalmist of Psalm 27 mirrors in 27:13: ‘I am still confident in this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.’ He says this in the presence of enemies, even though God is not immediately apparent (27:7-9).
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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