Speaking on Psalm 27, English preacher Charles Spurgeon highlighted two dangers to avoid in the Christian walk: “All who have gone on pilgrimage to the Celestial City have found a rough road, sloughs of despond and hills of difficulty, giants to fight and tempters to shun. Hence there are two perils to which Christians are exposed—the one is that under heavy pressure they should stay away from the path which they ought to pursue—the other is lest they should grow fearful of failure and so become faint-hearted.”
Waiting on the Lord helps us avoid these two mistakes, enabling us instead to stand firm with faith and trust in Him. Faith and trust are essential ingredients in godly waiting, unlike ungodly waiting, which involves fear, worry, or anxiety. Believers confidently rely on the Lord rather than their own finite and flawed understandings (Prov. 3:5). Such trust is closely connected with hope: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1).
The psalmist’s confidence was not pie-in-the-sky. Despite his negative situation, David felt sure he would “see the goodness of the lord in the land of the living” (vv. 2–3, 13). He had more certainty about God than about his own parents (v. 10)! Though waiting was hard, he was encouraged by the truth that we have nothing to fear with God on our side (vv. 1, 13–14). The “day of trouble” is just a prelude to victory and continued worship (vv. 5–6).
Unaided, however, David could not stand firm. His enemies were too many. He needed God’s presence (v. 4) and strength even to wait for Him! If the Lord would teach him His ways (v. 11), then he could stay on the “straight path,” and his faith-filled waiting would bear fruit.
Prayer is an important part of standing firm and waiting on the Lord. We can come before the Lord at any time and in our own words, and when we struggle to find the words, He provides us with Scripture that we can use to pray. Make the words of this psalm your own prayer of praise and petition to the Lord as you wait for Him in faith.