Sometimes we talk about faith as though it’s an idea to debate, an opinion we have, or a gem we hold up to the light and slowly turn over, observing all its facets. Like faith is something to own, protect, and keep on a shelf. But if we reduce faith to an opinion or an object we hold, it’s easy to put it aside. We could outgrow a faith like that.
We need the faith that the psalmist sings about, that reflects a relationship with One whose life is much larger than our own and who will walk with us as we face those realities we fear. The faith we need surrounds us as we confront those problems we can’t solve alone.
Faith brings the psalmist into a conversation. If the LORD hadn’t helped me, I would live instantly in total silence (v. 17, CEB). Instead the poet finds an audience with God who receives all the words, praises, questions, and concerns poured onto the page, then offers new thoughts and visions the writer may have overlooked.
Faith gives the psalmist sure footing. Whenever I feel my foot slipping, your faithful love steadies me, LORD (v. 18, CEB). We know what it’s like to fall, to unexpectedly lose our balance. But step by step God guides us and lifts us when we fall.
Faith provides peace when the psalmist is anxious. When my anxieties multiply, your comforting calms me down (v. 19, CEB). God offers the vision we need when our view is distorted. When concerns overwhelm us, God comforts us with a peace that passes understanding.
The psalmist assures us that the faith we need embraces God’s presence as God embraces us.
What does God’s active presence bring you?
God, we’re grateful for the ways you meet us with so many gifts. Help us see that your courage makes us braver, your wisdom teaches us to think, your faithfulness keeps us moving forward, and your assurance gives us peace. Amen.