Last night, as our small group met to discuss that morning’s sermon and dig deeper into the topics of suffering and God’s comfort, we talked about how living life within a greater context helps in persevering amidst trials. Remembering what we believe goes a long way toward dealing with what befalls. Standing on God’s promises goes a long way toward standing firm through life’s pressures. Reflecting on what lies ahead is a very real source of strength for whatever we’re dealing with now.
And this morning, the Spirit, through the psalmist, says to my spirit, “Amen!”
I have set the LORD always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
(Psalm 16:8 ESV)
I shall not be shaken. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning. The songwriter’s confidence that he won’t be dislodged. That he won’t be moved. That he won’t be dropped or allowed to fall. And I’m thinking that knowing that you won’t be overthrown or overcome is a good thing when you’re feeling kind of overwhelmed.
And the songwriter’s confidence isn’t in himself. It’s in the One who is at His right hand. The One who is but an arms length away. The One who stands shoulder-to-shoulder with us. Occupying not just the place of honor, but also the position of defense and protection. A very present help in time of need. Accompanying us into battle even as we take up the armor of God. Ready to shore us up when we’re ready to give up. Spurgeon says, “The sense here is, that the psalmist felt that God, as His Protector, was always near him; always ready to interpose for his defense.”
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 ESV)
I shall not be shaken.
But while his confidence lay not in himself, the songwriter isn’t saying that he has no part in fighting the good fight. Far from a “let go and let God” approach, he acknowledges His part in preparing for the day of testing.
I have set the LORD always before me.
David sought the presence of the LORD even before he needed the protection of the LORD. He desired to commune daily with His God rather than call on Him only when in need. His habit would be to meditate on who God is. His practice, to invite Jehovah into all of life. Calling on Him not only in times of trouble and testing, but also acknowledging Him in times of triumph. Seeking Him not only in times of special circumstance, but also inviting His presence during the mundane affairs of his day-to-day routine.
It was his habit to continually set the LORD before him. So it was his confidence that, in the day of trouble, the LORD would be at his right hand.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure. (Psalm 16:9 ESV)
I shall not be shaken.
By His grace. For His glory.