Don’t worry: Phil’s sermon on Psalm 27


The clock was ticking.  Phil’s job was coming to an end in a few month’s time. He needed to find work from that date. But as the months rolled by – six months, four months, one month – he told us he had a sense of calm and was not troubled by worries, because he was convinced the situation was in God’s control, and that God had a job for him. Folk who knew him were worried on his behalf, but his sense of peace remained.

Three weeks. Two weeks before his contract ended. Still no new job, still that inner calm. And then – a conversation led to a job offer – and Phil started his next appointment the very day after his previous job ended.

Another story Phil told us this morning in his sermon on Psalm 27 – ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?’   He and the family were camping very recently at Aviemore. And it was wet. Seriously wet. A whole month’s rain in one day wet. And Phil was worried. Worried that the tent would leak, and they’ll all be soaked. They were going home the next day, so it wouldn’t have mattered that much. And Phil knew that worrying about things really never helps. But worry he did. All night long, by the sound of it. A whole month’s worry in one nigh-ttime. ‘If I had prayed,’ he told us ruefully, ‘I know I would have found peace.’  In the event the tent leaked – but only a little. No big deal!


We all have worries, Phil told us. So did King David, who wrote the Psalm. He’d worries as a shepherd boy, as the heir to the throne, as king. Personal worries, family worries, political and military worries.

Who do we turn to when we’re worried? Our friends and family do their best, but we’re all imperfect human beings and we all let others down from time to time.

David finds comfort

As the Psalm shows, David entrusted himself to God, and found confidence in God.  God was his ‘salvation’, his ‘light’ his ‘stronghold.’   Phil imagined a light-house, giving shelter to those who live there, and shedding light across land and sea, showing the way when the traveller feels overwhelmed by darkness, even in the valley of the shadow of death . Light; symbolises everything that’s good – truth, joy, vitality.  Phil imagined a castle, surrounded by a great impenetrable wall, a safe refuge for those pursued by enemies.

Our comfort

And as Christians, we know that Jesus is the Light. ‘ In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomeit’ (John 1:4-5)  Jesus is our stronghold, our place of safety.

Being real about our problems

King David is realistic. He doesn’t try to ‘pretend’ his problems away – he acknowledges them (verses 2 and 3) But having realistic assessed his circumstances, he still has confidence in God.

And Jesus encourages us, in his life and in his words, to have the same trust in the Father.  ‘I tell you, do not worry about your life.’  (See Matthew 6:25-34)

David, and Jesus, aren’t pretending that bad stuff doesn’t happen. Bad stuff happens as both of them knew, as Jesus knew particularly, facing his death. Worries will assault our minds. What matters, said Phil is what we do with those worries, how we handle them.  The secret is to entrust our worries, to entrust ourselves to God, to find our security in God no matter what may come about. We believe that God is immense and powerful, that God loves us, that God will never, never abandon us.

Living in conscious awareness of God

Phil acknowledged that it’s difficult to hold on to this confidence in God in the hard times. What David did was to seek with God’s help ‘to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,’ for he knows that therein his security lies. (See verses 5,6)

What does this mean for us? It means seeking to consciously live in God’s presence, taking God into our everyday lives, doing all the ordinary things with a consciousness that God is with us, God loves us, and making all we do and say and think and expression of ‘Yes!’ to God.  It also means spending time in praying, reflecting on the Bible, meeting and mutually encouraging other Christians.  If we live out life in this way, we will have an inner anchor, secure in God’s love, which will hold us when life is hard.

Don’t worry! Phil encouraged us in conclusion. Jesus is our salvation, our light, our stronghold. May we hold tight to the truths which first drew us to Jesus Christ, convinced that God is good. May we wait upon the Lord in the week ahead.

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