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October 13

Psalm 27

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—whom should I dread? 2 When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army deploys against me, my heart will not be afraid; though a war breaks out against me, I will still be confident. 4 I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking him in his temple. 5 For he will conceal me in his shelter in the day of adversity; he will hide me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. 6 Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in his tent with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord. 7 Lord, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me. 8 My heart says this about you: “Seek his face.” Lord, I will seek your face. 9 Do not hide your face from me; do not turn your servant away in anger. You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation. 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me. 11 Because of my adversaries, show me your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path. 12 Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence. 13 I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord. — Psalm 27

“The Lord is My Light and Salvation; whom should I fear?”

by Gayle Haywood

I was terrified. I was outnumbered and surrounded by angry fans. They had cornered me, and I saw no escape. This locker room confrontation had followed our basketball team's decisive victory over a conference rival. I had been instrumental in our opponent’s defeat and had become the target of their fans' anger and revenge. Fortunately, one of my teammates ran for help. Our coaches came to my rescue, and a frightening skirmish was averted.

As followers of Jesus Christ, most of us do not routinely face an angry mob or find ourselves in physical danger with the threat of bodily harm. Nevertheless, we may be haunted by other fears. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by life. Maybe you are terrified by the thought of praying in public, giving your personal testimony, facilitating a LIFE Group or accepting leadership responsibility.

Psalm 27 reminds us  that we conquer fear by trusting the God who brings us salvation. He is our stronghold, and He rescues us in our “day of trouble.” He is the stronghold of our life; of whom shall we be afraid? This psalm of David is a song of hope and trust in the Lord. It is a strong testimony of God's promise to help and defend His people.

King David, the man after God's own heart, still experienced fear. He addressed this emotion by writing psalms and putting his fears in perspective. He reminded himself that God was his fortified place. He set aside his fears and found release in communion with God in prayer.

David had experienced the Lord's presence. The intimate knowledge of God's protecting presence gave him confidence and banished fear. Regardless of how great his fear was, he looked at the greatness of the Lord in relation to the insignificance of his own problems. Opposition and outright war did not touch him, because his heart was strengthened by the Lord.

While fear is a normal part of human nature, God doesn’t intend for us to live in a state of anxiety. There  are 365 scriptures that tell us, “Be not afraid.” Like David, we can petition God for mercy, help and protection, because we too can have confidence in Him.

Psalm 27 concludes on a victorious note. David believed he would taste God's goodness in fellowship, protection, guidance and victory. This admonition is for each of us: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” 

Praxis

  1. What fears taunt you? Re-read Psalm 27. Using a concordance, locate other scriptures to combat your fears. Recite these verses each time your fears threaten you.
  2. Write your own psalm of praise, expressing gratitude for a time when God rescued you from your enemies or your fears.
  3. What fears are preventing you from assuming a position of leadership, being courageous, or acting boldly? As you release these fears to God, remember that you “can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.”
  4. David's greatest desire was to live in God's presence each day. What do you desire most? 

Gayle Haywood

Gayle Haywood is the Minister to Senior Adults for the Brentwood Baptist Campus. Since joining our staff in 1981, she has served in various ministry roles including Minister to Preschool and Children, Family Life Minister, and Small Groups Minister. Today, in addition to serving our senior adults, she provides ministerial support to our Women’s Nurture Team and Prayer Ministry. She has been a special preschool worker for the Tennessee Baptist Convention and LifeWay. She has written articles and been a contributing author to numerous Southern Baptist publications. She is a commissioned Stephen Minister and a Certified Senior Advisor.

Gayle received her Bachelor of Science degree from Coker College in South Carolina and went on to complete her master’s degree in religious education from Southeastern Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. 

She and her husband, David, have been married for 33 years and are parents to three daughters. She and David are residents of Brentwood. She enjoys reading and watching sports, especially basketball.