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One Thing

What do we do when we are hit by storms in our lives? Can our faith sustain us when crises hit one after another? King David experienced calamities, adversities, wars and much more! Yet he seemed to be confident in God in good and bad times. King David had deep faith in God and knew that regardless of the situation, God was sufficient for all his needs. This confidence emerged from an intimate relationship with God. Notice his unshakeable confidence in Psalm 27 – the Lord is my light and salvation; of whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? David was not afraid of men, enemies, an army or even war (verses 1-6).

But suddenly David shifted from the heights of confidence to the depths of anxiety and uncertainty. Even the pronoun switched from the third person to the second person, and his confident statement changed to a cry of supplication – hear O Lord, when I cry aloud…turn not your servant away in anger...cast me not off….(Psalm 27: 7-10).

David was human just like us. When faced with difficulties and oppositions, his anxieties were real. In verse 7 David cried out to God for immediate action – to deliver him from his enemies. Did David lose heart in God? Was his faith only present for good times? Not at all! As we continue with the Psalm, we see that David’s faith was deeply anchored in God and his unchanging promises.

In David’s cry to God, he remembered Him as the covenant-keeping God and placed his hope in this faithful unchanging God. His prayer was rooted in the promises of God. David remembered God as Helper, Saviour and Father in his past acts of faithfulness. David was confident as he recollected these acts, that God will once again carry him through his current situation. David recalled God as more reliable than his parents – for my father and mother have forsaken me but the Lord will take me in… (verse 10). It was on this premise that David pleaded with God to deliver him from his accusers and preserve him from being ambushed (verse 12). Through these prayers, David’s heart became calmer and his posture, one of trust – wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (verse 14). He was able to wait in confidence for the darker experience to pass even as he clung tenaciously to God.

David was able to deal with his fears only because he had a long-standing deep relationship with God that encompassed decades of cultivation through daily communion with him: 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. (verse 4). David worshipped the Lord daily and sought his counsel. One commentator aptly summed up David’s apparent fluctuating moods - David sought God and God sustained him; David sought refuge and shelter in God and God hid him; David sought God when his life was in danger and God established him; David sought God and God exalted him on solid ground.

David’s one desire was to know God, worship him and abide in him. His worship and daily communion with God strengthened, nourished and gave him stability and clarity. God was his light, salvation and stronghold and David feared nothing! David worshipped God both in good and bad times. In good times he burst forth into songs and made music to the Lord. In bad times, he cried out to God for mercy and deliverance. Through his prayers David grew in his dependence on God. He knew that God would always be there for him like he was in the past!

David demonstrated two levels of faith: one, trust God when everything was going well for him. The other, to trust God when everything was going against him. David’s God is our God too. He is the same God yesterday, today and all our tomorrows!

David chose the one thing above all others – to dwell in God’s presence and enjoy his company daily. Only this friendship and partnership with Jesus through our daily enjoyment of his company can we build a strong anchor that will give us these two levels of faith to go through the ravaging storms of life.

Violet James

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