Psalm 27:1–6, Acts 9:1–22 (read online ⧉)
The psalm may have stirred up a hymn or worship song in your mind. If wired a certain way, maybe you started singing. This psalm is from a person who is very weary. The psalmist feels as if there are neverending battles needing to be fought. The psalmist perceives that as long as God is there it’s okay. Now that doesn’t mean from a human perspective that everything will work out fine, just that as God is there it’s okay.
The psalmist resorts to being in the house of God and seeing God in the temple. God is worth it, so thinks the psalmist. Is there hope and assurance that everything will ultimately work out? Yes. However, trusting God often means not trusting ones’ own plans.
American Christians, with some justification, are perceiving more and more that the culture (and maybe even the world) is turning against the faith. There has always been some opposition to the faith. It’s not a new thing. Perhaps what we are seeing is a return to true balance, meaning that those that deceived themselves that they were Christians or misunderstood themselves as being Christians have begun to be free of those particular shackles. This in no way implies that Christianity is bad (just to clarify), but that many people misunderstood (and still do) what it means to be a Christian. Instead of mourning or getting defensive or getting angry about all the changes (including in our families) perhaps we ought to look to the psalmist for guidance. We are not called to win on our own, but to work on God’s plan and timetable (honestly, the hardest part). That of course, doesn’t mean we don’t have a part to play. Quite the contrary we each have a part to play.
Paul (formerly Saul) had a part to play. He was one of those who was slandering and attacking Christians to purify the Jews of this sect. His name became feared. His arrival meant nothing good. Except that God had a plan. It certainly, from the outset, didn’t seem like a great plan. Let’s have this guy harass and even endorse the killing of Christians. Let’s have him go from synagogue-to-synagogue and even town-to-town and cleanse the faith. All seemed lost or at least losing. Until Saul had a fateful encounter with Jesus. The event was so profound that Saul chose to go by Paul, meaning that he set aside the old and became new. Remember, he was “the enemy.” Now, his writings are an essential part of the Bible.
1) Politicians often use fear to motivate. Fear of “losing” Christianity is starting to grow. What should be the proper motivation regarding working for or expanding the Kingdom?
2) If love is the reason for our faith, then why are we allowing fear to drive our decisions regarding our faith?
Action: Pray the psalm, asking God for insight as to what it means for your faith and your world.