Psalm 27 invites us to wonder what life could look like if fear ceased to dominate.
Psalm 27 encourages us to live boldly, courageously, and powerfully. Our faith doesn’t remove us from intimidating situations. This psalm acknowledges that reality in the first two verses, envisioning a terrifying scenario where “evildoers assail me to devour my flesh”and “war rise up against me.” Having faith does not mean avoiding reality. Faith, instead, addresses intimidating circumstances with defiant confidence in God. After describing a host of imposing realities, the psalmist pushes back in verse 3, saying, “Yet I will be confident.”
The defiant confidence of the psalmist is attainable for each of us. To the full extent of our ability, we can push back, with God-soaked conviction, against opposition in our life. Yes, social distancing can take a toll. Yes, screen fatigue is real. Yes, shouldering long hours at work—or even looking for work in the first place—can be taxing. But, like the psalmist, we can be defiantly confident. God is our shelter and our hiding place. We overcome fear by approaching every situation as an opportunity to lean on God as our light who brings direction, our salvation who brings us safety, and our stronghold who protects us when we’re vulnerable.
With defiant confidence, I charge each of us to wait on the Lord today. “Be strong and let your heart take courage,” for together, we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
Cultivating a justice imagination requires defiant confidence. Defiant confidence confronts intimidating circumstances. It replaces our fears about what might go wrong with the convictions of what might go right if we take courageous action.
Breathe in, then exhale deeply. As you breathe, ask yourself what defiant confidence means for you. After several breaths, write down one or two sentences about what it would look like for you to walk unapologetically, knowing that God is your light and salvation.