Summary: Stay Confident In Conflict 1) Look to the Lord; 2)Live in his house
Another season of American Idol is upon us. This is the T.V. show that gives millions of Americans the opportunity to become the next pop star. If you’ve ever watched the show, especially the opening rounds, you know how most people who bomb are quick to say that they can really sing, not just well under pressure.
That describes life in general doesn’t it? It’s pretty easy to have a song in your heart when things are going well but it’s not so easy to keep singing when conflict comes and life crumbles. Wouldn’t it be great if we could stay confident in conflict? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could wake up every morning with a song in our heart, even if our health should be fading, our social life dying, and our financial resources dwindling? Whether it’s a Friday morning or a Monday morning we can wake up with a song in our heart. King David knew how and through Psalm 27 he will show us how to stay confident in conflict.
We don’t know the circumstances surrounding the writing of Psalm 27. David may have penned this song while being chased by King Saul and his army, or when he had to flee from his son Absalom. It doesn’t really matter who the enemy was because David sang: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident” (Ps. 27:4). How did David do it? How did he stay confident in the midst of conflict? David remained confident by looking to the Lord, not to his own strength or wisdom. David said, “ The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1)
From early on David demonstrated that the LORD, and not his own strength and wisdom, was the stronghold of his life. Do you remember the circumstances? David had gone to deliver food to his brothers who were fighting in the Israelite army against the Philistines. Only there wasn’t a lot of fighting going on because everyone in the Israelite army was scared to face the Philistine giant, Goliath. When David heard Goliath mock God he volunteered to fight the nine-foot giant. Many, including his own brothers, ridiculed David for thinking he could take on Goliath. But David remained confident. He knew that even if his family abandoned him, God would not (Ps. 27:10). Therefore David’s confidence was not the cockiness you see in many athletes today. David didn’t think he was going to defeat Goliath because he was such a good shot with the sling. No, his confidence was in the Lord who had always been with him and who would stay with him when he took on Goliath.
Who or what is the stronghold of your life? Is it your family and friends? If so, they will disappoint you as they did David. Is it the financial investments you’ve made? Is it your winning personality? Your looks? Your smarts? Your skills? If any of these is the stronghold of our life, our trust is in ourselves, not our Lord. It’s not just sinful but foolish to put our trust in ourselves. For what would happen should God choose to wipe out our retirement fund? What would happen should a car accident take away our looks and abilities? What will happen when the onset of years eats away at our smarts? If any of these things has been the stronghold of our life, we will despair.
Friends, let us repent of trusting ourselves and look to the Lord as the stronghold of our life. With the Lord as our stronghold we will remain confident even when the worst calamity strikes, for David said: “he will…set me high upon a rock…my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me” (Ps. 27:5b, 6a). We know that God will lift us over calamity and above our enemies because he has already done this for us in Jesus. Like a lifeguard diving into the ocean to rescue a drowning swimmer, Jesus dove into humanity to lift us out of our sins and up to heaven. In doing this, however, Jesus himself drowned in our sins.
But Jesus didn’t remain dead. He came back to life and continues to lift us above calamity. I’ve seen that happen again and again in your lives. Take Spencer (Beach) for example. Had you asked Spencer before the accident happened if he would be able to survive and overcome third degree chemical burns on 90% of his body, I’m sure he would have said “No way!” But here he is, not just surviving but thriving! Why? Because God has been true to his promise and has given Spencer the strength he’s needed every step of the way. You may think that you could never do what Spencer has done, but then again God hasn’t asked you to. If he did, he would give you the strength (1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 12:9). Since that’s his promise we can remain confident no matter what the conflict God allows into our life. Keep looking to him and not to yourself, nor at the size of the conflict.