Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. -Psalm 27:11-14 (NLT)
We’ve spent the last four days looking at Psalm 27 and how David’s trusted in God during difficult times. The last verse (v.14) offers us final instructions on how to cultivate our own sense of confidence in God.
The New Living Translation (NLT) you see above says, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” I like that translation, but I think The Message translation really gets to the heart of what David is telling us to do. It says, “Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God.”
Stay with God. Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again. Stay with God.
Let’s look at each one of those challenges:
Stay With God
As I mentioned before, some translations say, “Wait for the Lord,” while some say “Stay with God.” No matter which translation you choose to read, the question we must ask is, “How do we stay and wait?”
In the podcast that inspired this post, Craig McConnell and Allen Arnold suggest that staying with God means letting God come up with the answers to our problems instead of trying to claw our way through it ourselves. The pressure to “figure things out” is not on us. It’s on God, and He can always handle it.
It also means doing everything with God. There’s a difference between believing in God and staying with God. When we stay with God, we do life with Him. We invite Him into every area of our lives and consult him regularly- even in the mundane.
When we stay with God, we enable our heart to awaken and gain courage. We can face with peace the things that would normally overwhelm us or dishearten us.
I think most people are great at starting things, but we don’t finish things well. No matter the difficult circumstances we’re facing, God will do it with us. We can turn to Him for strength to finish well. “Finishing well” may look differently of each of us. Depending on our circumstances, it may take days, months, or years to finish well. David tells us not to give up.
Stay With God
One thing I’ve learned in studying the Bible is that when something is repeated, it’s important and we should pay extra attention to it. The Lord knows we are prone to wander, to get distracted. But staying with Him is the most important thing, which is why he prompted David to book-end the passage with this phrase. Stay with God, no matter what.