1The 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?
2When the wicked advance against me
to devoura me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
How much of our lives are about vision, perspective, and hope for our future? In fact, Pastor Johnny Hunt says, “We can go “40 days without food, 4 days without water, 4 minutes without air, but you can't live 4 seconds without hope.” Hope is a powerful, driving force in our lives that not only allows us to press-on, but often serves as a catalyst for change in our lives if we’re stuck in a rut of despair, anxiety, depression, or simply feeling the heaviness of life bearing down on us. We witness in this passage the Psalmist encountering some strong adversity in his life. However, not being able to pinpoint the exact nature of his circumstances, we’re able to identify with him as we often feel as if “enemies have pursued us seeking to devour us,” and “war is breaking out all around us,” because at times life seems to be falling apart. Can I get a witness?
Calling to his mind in verse one, the Psalmist proclaims one of the greatest rallying cries we can shout in the midst of battle, “1The 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?” Walking through days, weeks, or difficult seasons of a journey with anxiety, depression, or simply the heaviness of life weighing down upon us – the enemy has no mercy, but rather seems to double-down on his work. Thus we must remain faithful to cling to the promises of God’s word just as the Psalmist did here, for God is the “stronghold of our lives – we shall not be afraid.” Finally, hope is always found by setting our eyes on the future, and that future is the “Beauty of the Lord” in what awaits us beyond the trials, hardships, and struggles of our journey here on earth. The Psalmist expresses his desire to spend his days in the house of the Lord and “set his gaze on the Lord” – “4One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
Setting our gaze on the Lord is an essential part of the daily journey as He is our ultimate source of light and salvation – the stronghold on which we are able to stand and not be easily shaken. Today, remember within the beauty and strength of the Lord awaits a glorious future for all who have called on Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Knowing that we have an eternal, everlasting hope that reaches far beyond our present trials and circumstances, provides us with the hope we need to take small steps of obedience for another moment, another hour, for another day. In the strength of Christ Jesus, Amen!
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for this day You have made, let us find our ultimate source of true hope and light as we seek You first today. Thank You for being the stronghold on which we’re able to continually stand moment by moment as we set our gaze continually on the truth of Your word. May it be our desire to gaze on Your beauty and to long for Your presence in our lives as we seek to dwell in Your house. Lord, You are our light and salvation, therefore, we need not be afraid of anything in this world, but rather to rest in fearing You alone above all else. May we find peace today in the complete surrender of our lives to You. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.