Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”
As I read through the Psalms and I hear David declare truths about who God is and how God works for His people, I am struck by David’s cries in Psalm 27 where he is overcome by his enemies. They “assail” him to “eat up his flesh.” “False witnesses have risen against” David as they “breathe out violence.” Overall, David feels as if the world is rising against him.
While you may not have enemies that seek to eat up your flesh, if you have breathed the air on this earth, you understand difficulty and trial. You understand what it is like to be overwhelmed by the circumstances and situation of this world. You know what it is like to be in a place of dependence on God. And as unfortunate as it is, this is precisely the place where we grow the deepest with the Lord.
From Psalm 27, we are challenged to remember four things. First, we are reminded to remember God’s promises to us. We are encouraged to put our trust in God, who is our light and salvation. We are challenged to remember that if we are God’s children, then we can be confident that God is fighting for us. When the storms of this life toss us around, we are promised that God will hide us in His shelter; that he will conceal us under the cover of his tent and lift us high upon a rock. When life is crazy and we can’t make sense of difficulty, David reminds us in Psalm 27 that we are to be strong, and to let our hearts take courage as we wait upon the Lord.
Second, we are challenged to not seek answers and solutions and satisfaction from things of this world, but to seek the Lord’s face above all things! David reminds us in Psalm 27:8 that God’s command to us is that we seek God’s face. Anxiety, worry, and fear are all rooted in a very self-focused mindset. When we seek the Lord’s face, our minds will lift up out of the quagmire of this life and begin to give us an eternal, heavenly mindset.
Third, we are challenged to regularly preach to ourselves. Consider David’s words throughout Psalm 27: “Whom shall I fear?…Of whom shall I be afraid?…Yet I will be confident….I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong!”
Sometimes our minds and our hearts seek to deceive us and to pull us down to a place that is not honorable to the Lord. Don’t let the enemy pull you down in this way, but preach the truth of God’s Word to your heart and your mind!
Fourth and finally, consider David’s words in Psalm 27:4. “One thing have I asked… that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” David’s words remind us of our true hope, our true light at the end of the tunnel: Heaven! The trials of this life do a really good job of making us homesick for heaven, don’t they? In fact, nothing does a better job of helping us long for the eternal than the difficulties in this life. There are many things to enjoy in this life, yet many of the joys tend to lead us to think that temporal things will satisfy, when we quickly learn that they will not.
God, help us to learn to love the hard times as they keep us dependent on you, remind us of who you are, and keep us homesick for heaven! Amen.