February 13, 2020

Strength for Today

Psalm 27

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

—  Psalm 27:1

Before my Grandpa Mulder died, he compiled a list of Bible passages for the pastor to give to the grandchildren at his funeral. Thus his name is written alongside Psalm 27 in my Bible. It encourages me to think about how God gave my grandfather the strength to endure the difficulties in his life.

The Lord was Grandpa’s stronghold when one of his children died at age 11, when their family could barely make a living during the Great Depression, when his wife died at age 55, and when leukemia later drained him of life. The image of him looking to heaven as he sang a hymn in his hospital bed is one I will not forget.

When God’s people are besieged by an army of challenges in life—grief, financial struggles, illness—we can endure because God is our stronghold. God’s grip never loosens, even when we feel as if we are slipping away. David the psalmist writes that “in the day of trouble” God will “keep [us] safe in his dwelling” and then “set [us] high upon a rock” as a sign of victory.

This psalm is packed with words of comfort: light, salvation, confidence, beauty, safety, joy, help, mercy, and goodness. Memorizing this psalm, and repeating it throughout the day in times of difficulty, can be a sure source of strength for anyone who is suffering.

“Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. . . . You have been my helper.” Give me strength to face whatever comes my way. Amen.

About the author — Bonny Mulder-Behnia

Bonny Mulder-Behnia is a pastor in Bellflower, California, with 25 years of experience in church staff, educational, congregational, and pastoral ministry. She is married to Jahan and has two adult children and a grandson.

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