The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
(Psalm 28:7 NIV)
The conundrum of the modern age for vast swathes of the world is that while we enjoy so much material affluence and technological advancements there is so much discontentment, sorrow and depression. There seems to be a lack of joy and praise in many lives.
How can we have the joy in our hearts that makes us leap like new born lambs and places a song on our lips?
We can look at king David’s comments in Psalm 28:7 and come away with the impression that there are two distinct themes being expressed.
First, that God is David’s saviour: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Second, that David was a joyful and grateful person: My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Both of those points are true, but to read the verse in this way misses a key element of what David is saying.
The first and second parts of this verse are connected as the parallelism shows: The Lord is mentioned in lines one and four and David’s heart is mentioned in lines two and three.
David is showing that it is precisely because the Lord is his strength and shield he can trust him and receive help; therefore he could leap for joy and have a song of praise on his lips.
People often search for happiness and contentment in a big bank balance or in the latest gadget that has come onto the market, but eventually the realisation dawns that real satisfaction cannot be found in those things. When that happens joy dissipates and discontentment and depression set in.
The only source of lasting joy is in the recognition that the Lord is our Protector, Sustainer, and Saviour. He is our ultimate satisfaction.
Whatever you are going through in life, if you
‘Cast your cares on the LORD…he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.’ (Psalm 55:22) The Lord is our rock
(Psalm 28:1) who hears our cries for mercy
(v.6) and will be our shepherd, carrying us forever
That knowledge alone should fill us with joy and praise.
Let’s resolve to go forward day by day by casting our cares on the Lord, trusting in his protection, help and ultimate salvation.
The result will be greater joy in our lives and, like David, we will be able to sing a grateful song.
Father you are more precious than any possessions and more valuable than gold, please put a skip of joy in our step and desire on our tongue to praise you, for you are our delight and satisfaction. In Jesus’ name we pray,
Have a joyful and praise filled week.