I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! (Psalm 27:13–14—NKJV)

The Scriptures teach that we are to keep our heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). The heart is the very seat of who we are. It is the treasury of our aspirations and self-knowledge, the catalog of our fears and self-measurement, the switchboard of our moral values and self-awareness, and it is the engine of our accomplishments and self-reward. For the believer there is an added component of the heart being the conduit of obedient faith and dependent trust in God alone.

With the heart truly being “the heart of the matter,” the believer will always do a heart self-assessment especially when conflict arises. David was apparently under some severely distressing circumstances with enemies seeking his demise. It is no wonder that he specifically mentions his heart three times in the chapter and alludes to it throughout. He was going through an intensely personal time and after his self-review he shares with his readers conclusions about his weaknesses and the strength that he gains from God.

There are four declarations he makes about heart qualities that confidence in God produces in every believer. The first declaration is found in verses 1–3: God gives believers an unshakeable and uncrushable heart. He starts the psalm with the words, “The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” There are all kinds of lights in our world: spotlights, stoplights, warning lights, trouble lights, nightlights, searchlights, flood lights, flashlights, and leading lights. But the one that captivates us more than any other is sunlight. David is identifying the sole source of his confidence and the lone giver of life for his soul—“the Father of lights” (James 1:17). He couples “light” with “salvation”—his helper and deliverer is God. Then David identifies God as his “strength,” his stronghold into which he flies when the enemy threatens. Though a fearsome enemy, or a multitude of enemies, rise up and surround him, he has the antidote to fear—his supreme confidence; the Lord is his light and there is no other. This is the quality of his personal state.

The second declaration is found in verses 4–6: God gives believers an unstoppable and undistractable heart. He starts the section with the words “one thing I have desired of the LORD, that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” Sanctuary and rescue is what he finds in the presence of his Lord and Master. Great men have generally been men known for being men of one thing—one aim, one quality, or one victory. There is simplicity to their method and pursuit of their craft. There is no “divided heart” about them. For David, this is the quality of his clear personal testimony.

The third declaration is found in verses 7–12: God gives believers an unwavering and undeniable heart. Though all others may abandon him, even his own mother and father, he is unflappable in his confidence that his relationship with his Lord and his Deliverer is on sound footing. He is faithful in his obedience, devoted in his allegiance, and punctual in his regular audience before the King of Heaven. This is the quality of his personal prayer life.

The final declaration is found in verses 13–14: God gives believers an unquenchable and unmovable heart. The two verses that end the chapter are the default behaviors of the confident heart. Spurgeon reminds every saint that seeing is not believing, rather believing will assist in seeing. In other words, believe to see, not see to believe. You see, for David and for all saints, He is our Light; this promotes confidence! The confident saint is therefore able to wait upon the Lord. Alongside the bravest of soldiers in the midst of battle, David admonishes, “Be strong and of good courage!” Spurgeon enlarges on the waiting of the saints, “Wait at His door in prayer, wait at His foot with humility, wait at His table with service, and wait at His window with expectancy.” This is the quality of David’s personal experience.

In what is your confidence invested? Has God granted you a greatheart and a braveheart through faith in the finished work of His Son? Is your heart sustained by God’s light and is your refuge in His stronghold? Trust and obey.