Key Text: Psalm 27:3-4

Reading these two verses of the psalm, should leave us with a sense of encouragement. Because what life can be lived without ever encountering the threats and fears that are common to us all. These words of David can encourage us that to place our trust in God alone, is the sure and certain way of facing those challenges when they come.

Whether the pain of bereavement, the hurt of betrayal, the breaking of relationship, the struggles of finance, the anxiety of uncertainties, challenges of sickness, the doubts of self-worth, the emptiness of life, the dread of suffering, the fear of rejection, the draining of disappointment whatever it is they will come – not IF they come.

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Life is sometimes messy and we cannot avoid the trials, tests and threats of daily living. But these words should encourage us to know that whilst we cannot choose what happens to us and in our lives we can however, choose how we respond.

v.2 Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though a battle arise against me, yet I will be confident.

Our ability to respond and think differently is only possible because we have previously chosen to dig a new well in Christ Jesus, from which we can draw from. In the same way that we do not prepare for battle in times of war but in times of peace.

David understood that it wasn’t a matter of running into the presence of God when he needed help but instead cultivated a lifestyle of remaining in His presence. Not knowing when the enemy might strike, David chose to anchor himself in God, in both the good and bad times. An anchor doesn’t just hold us in a hurricane, it will hold us in a harbour. Because David understood this about the nature of God, he was able to be confident.

v.5 we find these three words Dwell, Gaze and Inquire

Have you ever been completely captivated by someone or something? Perhaps it was a breathtaking sunset or newborn baby that caught our attention.

What did we do? Did we glance for a moment, or did we become so hooked or captivated by the vision that we stopped, turned and looked ‘full-on’ into the face of the exquisite sight? David was captivated when he wrote these words in Psalm 27:4

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.

The word ‘Gaze’ is from the Hebrew, means to see, perceive, to contemplate with pleasure, look, behold.

This idea of gazing or beholding requires more than a passing casual glance; it is purposeful contemplation of something so magnificent that we just can’t take our eyes off of it. We drink in the sight and as we do, we find a delight in its presence.

To gaze on the beauty of the Lord is to look, with full attention, into the face of Jesus in all of His glory. To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord is to literally ‘see into the favour’ Not just simply the outward beauty of the sanctuary and its worship but to see the grace, kindness, goodness, mercy, love of Jehovah to His guests. Because we are the guests of God because it is He who invites us to stand in the temple in His presence. We have no right or entitlement to be there, except that Jesus has made it possible.

When we think of gazing on the beauty of the Lord, Mary of Bethany gives us two great illustrations of what this means.

Take a moment and read Isaiah 53:1-6.

In the spender of His beautiful sacrifice for us, we can be confident.