Take Heart, Don’t Be Afraid
Posted in Courage/Perseverance
Scripture: “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?… I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27: 1, 13-14
The Psalms are full of trouble. Lament or complaint, Psalms express with honesty the adversity or trouble which the Psalmist is facing. It is often not clear what this trouble is, but what is clear is that these Psalms of lament are models of faith. When we are invested in a relationship, either with another person or with God, we risk being honest because we trust the other. We know that the relationship is solid and can withstand the honesty of our fear and complaint. The Psalmist trusts God and knows the steadfastness of God’s love and is willing to not gloss over the challenges in life.
The writer of Psalm 27 begins with words of trust. “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” With this perspective of trust, the Psalmist then pleads with God not to forsake him.
There is much to be afraid of in our world today. The uncertainty can gnaw at our insides. We often feel that we are not in control. That which seemed unshakable in our world is now beginning to shake.
But the writer of this Psalm ends with words of trust, which have been crafted into a song by the Taizé Community in France. “I know I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Yes, I will see the goodness of the Lord. Take heart, don’t be afraid!” (You can check YouTube to listen to this song.)
I have learned so much from the indigenous people of Taiwan, who live on the edges of Taiwan’s high-tech society. They often have little control over their world, but they are honest in their prayers of lament letting God know their needs and sorrow. They are also honest in what they know to be true. They know that they will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. They know that God’s love can be trusted.
So, as we see the news of the world which can become our lament, we also learn to sing a song of trust. We too can take heart and not be afraid.
Prayer: O Steadfast God, we bring to you a hurting world, which you created and love with a tenacious love. We ask for healing for the nations. We also ask for healing of our hearts. Help us to take heart and not be afraid. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Submitted by John McCall, Mission Coworker in Taiwan