Facing Adversity

TAKE COURAGE

Take Courage
By Charles E. McCracken
GROW

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!  Psalm 27:14

Read Today’s Text: Psalm 27:1-14

 

David wrote the 27th Psalm while hiding in exile from King Saul who had determined to kill him. How often David must have relived the day Samuel had anointed him king wondering when he would assume the throne.

The path to the throne was not an easy one. Most likely, David hadn’t expected the turn of events that forced him to live in exile. Although anointed to be the next king of Israel, he was in point of fact forced to live in the desert, hide in caves and implement evasive strategies to avoid Saul’s army. David understood adversity.

Living through seemingly unfair situations, David was uniquely qualified to encourage us with a personal testimonial. He daily faced the temptation to take the easy way out of his circumstances. Yes, there was a simple solution to his predicament; he could stage a coup, terminate Saul and take the throne by force.

The temptation was real; and, David had two opportunities to do that very thing. On both occasions, David’s most trusted advisors urged him to use the situation to his advantage and remove Saul permanently (1 Sam. 24; 26). They even made it sound like it was God’s will; but, David knew better and refused!

Wait on the Lord

In that context of adversity and peril, David provides advice to all who face hardship in the context of their own daily experience. David’s first words of counsel advise us to, “[w]ait on the Lord.” The word “wait” conveys an attitude of confident expectancy.

David understood the futility of yielding to the temptation to escape circumstances as quickly as possible—at any cost. He recognized there was a choice to do what seemed advantageous or to do what was right.

Scripture tells us David determined not to take matters into his own hands. He chose to wait on the Lord—to wait on God’s timetable—to wait on God to deal with his enemies—wait on God to bring him to the place of promise (v.6).

But, David didn’t sit around twiddling his thumbs feeling sorry for himself.  David remained engaged. He didn’t give-up.  He maneuvered through the realities of everyday life with the confidence that his circumstances were not permanent. He was not only convinced that God would fulfill His promises, but also that God’s plan and timing were flawless.

PikiWiki_Israel_47164_clouds_and_light_t2

Makhtesh Ramon light and clouds. Dror Feitelson Pikiwiki Israel [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement courtesy, MKM Portfolios: “Psalm 27: 1: The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?”

Be of Good Courage

If anyone understood the temptation to panic, be disheartened or give-up on his future, it was David. Anticipating that others could learn from his experience, he recommends an antidote—courage (v.14). Rather than looking at the severity of his circumstances, David tells us to be courageous and cheerfully carry-on.

When friends suggest you should take the easy way out; when you keep moving forward in spite of circumstances, courage will empower you to wait on the Lord. Although challenging, David’s life is proof that waiting on the Lord is the most courageous thing we can do.

God Strengthens Your Heart

David’s encouragement comes with a promise. God will strengthen the heart of those who courageously trust in Him.

The Hebrew word translated “heart” speaks of the inner man or the whole person—mind, emotion and will. Those trusting God in difficult or challenging circumstances can count on Him to provide added strength needed to persevere to the end. In the previous verse, he says as much: I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (v. 13).

While David was convinced God had chosen him to be king over Israel, he was also certain that the adversity was temporary and God would bring him through.

We all face uncertainty, adversity and seemingly unfair circumstances at one time or another in life. Regardless of the particulars, the choice is the same and David’s advice is relevant some three millennia later: wait on the Lord

Waiting on the Lord is so important that David reiterates his admonition in the last line of the psalm, Wait, I say, on the Lord! (v. 14).

David’s begins his words with, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (vv. 1-2). He ends with today’s text, Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! (v. 14).

Whatever decisions you face this week, determine to be courageous. God will bless you for waiting on Him and will provide all the strength you need to overcome your circumstances and ultimately reach the place of His promised blessing.

© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only.  Repost/Reprint with permission from the author.