David, in his prayer to the Lord (Psalm 27) began by calling the Lord his light, his salvation and his stronghold. By first reminding himself WHO God is, he called to his mind that he had no reason to fear (Ps. 27:1). This is something that he regularly did in his life. Before he battled Goliath he said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:37)
David had confidence that the Lord would be with him. Where did his confidence come from? From his experience of the Lord’s faithfulness, from his knowledge of who God is, and by faith walking obediently in the steps the Lord provided for him to walk. He didn’t go off half-cocked; he asked the Lord for guidance and then acted on his faith. His confidence came from his relationship with the Lord, knowing he was acting in God’s purpose and in God’s power. “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands’…So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” (1 Sam. 17:45-47; 50)
So as David sang this prayer to the Lord, he recalled how the Lord battled Goliath, a strong warrior who was a couple of feet taller than David. David depended on the Lord and His might, not his own. David was annointed by the Lord to be the king of Israelites, even though King Saul and his men were trying to kill him, and David was not yet king. David knew that the Lord was faithful, so he had faith in the Lord’s Word, and knew it would come to pass. That’s why he was able to end his prayer, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Ps. 27:13-14)
Nearly 300 years later Isaiah is reminding the Israelites that God is able to deliver and restore His distressed people if they will wait in faith for Him to act, to trust in Him and draw strength from Him. “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God’? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Is. 40:27-31)
Throughout history, men and women have had to be reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness and of the wisdom of waiting on Him and only walking in His power. Is it any wonder that we have these same struggles? The writer of Hebrews reminds us of many of these: “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” (Heb. 11:32-34)
So how do you and I overcome our fears? We remember God’s faithfulness in our own lives and throughout the history in the Bible. We meditate on His Word, we pray, and we wait on the Lord to guide us where He wants us to go. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Heb. 12:1-3)
We keep our faith, wait on the Lord, and then we do what He says. “In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:3-4)
And we focus our prayers in thanksgiving to Him, grateful that He is good to those who hope in Him, seek His face (His will) and wait for Him. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lam. 3:22-26) As you face trouble within and without, trust in the Lord. Just trust Him!