In verses 13 and 14 of Psalm 27, it reads, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
When you first read these verses, what do they say to you? What rises up on the inside of you? For me, it was encouragement and strength knowing that no matter what I am enduring in this day, God has something better for me here … in the land of the living. However, as soon as I allowed myself to get excited, it was as if I paused to question what the meaning of the land of the living meant. Did it mean here today or did it mean in Heaven?
This led me on a search and some deep conversations with God. Before I continue on, I have to share that just as we can reason things out in our minds to justify what we have done or how we feel, the same can be said about research. If you look hard enough you can find something to justify what you want to see and not the reality of His Word. I sort of felt this way this morning. After deep conversation with God, I came away with an entirely different take on the subject matter.
My initial findings sort of justified what I concluded and that is that the land of the living meant the hereafter. It meant when we arrived in heaven we would see the goodness of the Lord. After all, only in heaven will everyone be walking in life. There will be no dead among us in heaven. As much as this excited me and gave me even more reason to be anxious for the Lord's return, it saddened me. I thought, "Wow, I have to wait until that precious day of His arrival before I will see or experience His goodness." As much as this again excited me, it caused me to pause with grief. How much longer must I suffer the evils of this day before I will get to experience His goodness?
As soon as I concluded the above I saw these verses again in yet a different light. Let's look at "I am still confident … " which indicates I have hope on the inside of me which is stirred up during my difficult days; and then, "… Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart …" which indicates faith to me. A faith which carries me through knowing He is in control. In my hope I am confident and with faith I wait for His goodness. In heaven we need neither hope nor faith. Once we have been taken up to spend eternity with Him, our hope and faith are laid aside because we have arrived. The hope and faith we relied on here, on earth, have finally paid off and we are in His presence forever.
With that understanding, then the hope and faith indicated in Psalm 27 would indicate that "the land of the living" is meant for today … to encourage us knowing that He hears the cries of His children and we will see His goodness if we persevere and overcome. My hope and faith is in exactly this and thus gives me the courage and strength to press on. If the land of the living was not for us today, then why the hope and faith referenced with it. They are all grouped together as they are intricate parts of one another. We must have the hope and faith so we can experience His goodness in today amongst the land of the living … along side our other brothers and sisters in Christ. There is living among the dead here on planet earth.
I have experienced enough of God's goodness here on earth to know that I will see more of it in the days ahead. Whether through Psalm 27 or not, there are many references in the Bible where God promises better for His children here on earth and I personally know it to be true. So much of my pain and suffering in life has been used for His glory to minister to others, which in turn brings me great joy. I know you may be saying to yourself, "I do not want to suffer for others" or you may be asking, "How could my pain ever bring me joy?" When you give your heart and life solely to Him … when you make Him 'the' priority in your life, He leads you to find joy in the greatest of suffering. It may not be immediate but it comes. I can look back at all the suffering in my life … at all my losses … and see where He gave me something good out of it. It does not mean I would want to suffer in those same ways again, but it means He is faithful and you can rely on His promises which are for today.
This is my take from reading and praying over this Psalm. I would love to hear yours.
Love you and have a blessed day!
Janet L. Nicholson
Published Author and Writer