I was reading Psalm 27 earlier today and verse 13 jumped out at me.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!”
David’s emphatic statement is full of conviction. He says this within a psalm where there are evildoers assailing him, adversaries and foes, an army encamped against him, and a war rising against him. (vv. 2-3) “Yet,” he says, “I will be confident.” Where is his confidence? It is in the Lord who his light, salvation, and stronghold. (v. 1) David confidently believes that his prayer in verses 4-6 to dwell in the house of the Lord, gaze upon His beauty, and inquire in His temple will be answered. And it will be answered in the “land of the living.” This he pronounces with confidence, “I believe!”
I must confess that I do not always live my life with this firm conviction. Often we can find ourselves looking toward our heavenly reward and comforting ourselves with this great promise, purchased for those who believe by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. About this life, we tell ourselves that it is hard, marred by sin, or a preparation for eternity in God’s kingdom. All these are true. But sometimes the easy response in comforting our own soul or that of another in the midst of deep affliction or trial is to just point to heaven where there is no pain or tears.
David certainly looked forward to the coming of the Lord and the resurrection, but his words in this Psalm are in expectation that he will see the Lord’s goodness, His gracious character, in this life, the land of the living. Do you believe that? What a difference this would make in our daily lives if we held this deep conviction with David: that we will gaze upon the goodness of the Lord. No matter the depth of your affliction, say with David, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!” Preach it to your soul. Worship the Lord. And the Holy Spirit, who dwells inside you, will give you the “strength to comprehend…what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19)