Psalm 28:7a “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.”
This verse is such a powerful and comforting verse. These words have been and continue to be a source of comfort and strength to me.
Psalm 28 written by David is an appeal to be heard. He cries out to God for deliverance and to deal with those who harbour malice in their hearts and defy God. The psalm begins with the plea to be heard but shifts in verse 6 to praise for who God is.
David depicts a confidence in being heard and affirms himself of who is with him.
This week, this verse really spoke to me. Let’s break it down and get into this rich verse.
The Lord – The Hebrew word for Lord is ‘adon’ which means master. It means one who has authority over another and also provides for and protects those under his charge.
When David says Lord, there is an affirmation and confirmation that God is master over him and all things. He is the one with the authority over every situation and over every happening. All is within and under His sovereign control.
For us: In the midst of any challenge it is good to be reminded and affirm who is truly Lord over all. May we not only verbally acknowledge that He is Lord over our life but let that reality shape our emotions, our responses and the perspective with which we view all of our situations.
The Lord Is – implying a present continuing reality and a sure confidence of who the Lord is to him, not just in the past but being Lord over David’s life is very much an existent and ongoing reality.
For us: This truth should be evident in our actions and reactions every day. Are we showing that He is pre-eminent in our lives every single day and in every single area of our lives?
The Lord is My – Our Lord who is mighty and sovereign is also a personal God, who knows our fears, our weaknesses, our challenges and our struggles. He knows our every thought and worry. He cares for our smallest and deepest need. He knows when we need His comfort, a word of encouragement, a reminder, some courage, His mercy, His love and when we need an extra dose of His grace. Our God is Lord of all and yet He is also yours and my heavenly Father. Let us rest in that knowledge.
The Lord is my Strength – Our Lord who is the author and answer to everything, who created all, who is the mightiest of the mighty, is our unlimited and most powerful source of strength.
He gives us strength
- To walk through our valleys
- To face our trials
- To forgive when we have been hurt
- To love those we would struggle to extend that to
- To wait on His timing and His wisdom
- To be kind to those who have been unkind to us
- To stand strong against temptation
- To stand firm when our faith is tested
- To reflect Him in our everyday life
The Lord is my strength and My Shield – Our Lord not only fills us with His strength when we need it but He also protects us.
He shields us from the enemy’s arrows. Taking the analogy of a literal shield in one’s hand, our Lord is our shield that goes with us but also in front of us. A shield that is very much within our reach. There are times when a shield deflects an arrow or a strike that was unexpected but other times, we position that shield to specifically block that strike. Similarly, God protects us from the enemy’s attacks which we do not see approaching, the enemy is always on the prowl (1 Peter 5:8) and other times we have to avail the Lord’s protection to specifically block an attack.
My heart trusts in Him – I like that David says His heart trusts in God. Not his mind – our minds search for reasoning but our heart believes. When we believe in God, know His character, feel His presence and look back at how faithful he has always been, our heart knows that we do not need to have tangible evidence of His actions to know with surety that He is working on our behalf.
Our situation might scream otherwise but our heart trusts in the one who never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5), who turns the impossible into the possible, who turns all evil into good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
And I am helped – David depicts a confidence that the Lord will help him. David prays with specificity regarding being heard and for wanting deliverance from those who wrong Him. But he does not specify how exactly his answer of help will come through. He is confident that the Lord will help him, but how – that he leaves to God.
We tend to lean towards wanting our pleas answered in a specific way but our confidence should be in knowing that the Lord will come through for us but the help he provides is according to His wisdom. Our help may come in a practical manner with exactly the answer to what we prayed for or it might be spiritual, where the Lord grows us in our faith, teaches us dependence on Him, that our security lies in Him or brings someone to faith.
I share a short true story that I heard a while ago that speaks into this. A young boy in his early teens found himself hanging with the wrong crowd. He ended up getting shot during an incident of street crime. He sustained spinal injuries and ended up as a paralytic waist down. His family prayed for him and he too (although not a follower of Jesus) prayed for a miracle to be completely healed. He relays this story as a man of 28yrs sitting in his wheelchair. To our eyes he did not seem to have received his miracle but he thinks differently. He said he did receive his miracle, it was not what he asked for at the time but something much more valuable, it was not a healing of the body but a restoration of his soul.
What he said really struck me. His help came in a completely different way to what he asked for or expected. His eternal trajectory was entirely and forever changed. Where does our help come from, it comes from our maker (Psalm 121:1). He is our all-knowing, loving God, let us trust Him to know and provide the help we need according to His wisdom and will.
May we abide and rest in the knowledge that God is our strength, our shield and our help. May this powerful verse be a source of encouragement, comfort and courage to you when you need it.