"The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him" (Psa 28:7).

Having a personal Lord is a wonderful benefit. Of course, in reality, there is no other valid relationship between the Lord and His people. Satan tempts people to depend upon an impersonal affiliation with Christ–one that is indirect. Thus people imagine themselves to be connected with the Lord through a religious institution, a less formal group, their parents, or some other representative association.

This Psalm reflects the greatness of our salvation. Although David lived more than a 1,000 years before Jesus, he was granted the privilege of experiencing things far beyond his own time. Remember that Israel as a whole did not experience what is confessed in this Psalm–in fact such marvelous benefits were nowhere promised in the Old Covenant. Yet, it is the nature of the Lord to provide special advantages to those seeking Him with their whole heart. As it is written, "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant" (Psa 25:14). And, if this was true in David's day, how much more is it true now, in the "day of salvation."

Notice the unusually personal nature of this verse. "MY strength . . . MY shield . . . MY heart . . . I AM helped . . . MY song . . . I WILL praise Him." It is one thing to know "He is strong" (Job 9:19). It is quite another for Him to be YOUR strength. It is one thing to know "He is a shield" (Prov 30:5). It is something else to know He is YOUR shield. To intellectually know we should "Trust in Him at all times" (Psa 62:8) is one thing. For YOUR heart to trust in Him is quite another matter. An academic understanding that we should "rejoice in the Lord" (Psa 33:1; Phil 4:4), and hear the exhortation "Praise our God, all you His servants" (Rev 19:5) is good. However, to actually be found doing it is better. There is where you get the blessing.

The experience of the Psalmist confirmed the truth stated: "The LORD is MY strength and MY shield." Through the Lord he could stand and would be protected. That was the truth, yet it was not experienced without the involvement of the man of God. It was when his "heart trusted in Him," that the benefits were realized. The circumstances in which David found himself probably appeared to contradict the truth of God's strength and protection being for him. Yet, the "man after God's own heart" trusted in Him. He leaned upon Him when the storm was raging, and when his own strength was waning. Sight did not confirm the presence of the Lord, nor did any other natural sense. Like Abraham, however, David "considered not" the impossible circumstances surrounding him (Rom 4:19). He trusted, depending on the Lord, relying upon Him to come through.

And what was the outcome of it all. He confessed, "I AM HELPED!" – not I was helped, but AM helped. In other words, he was being sustained. He was able to get up. The devil was not able to keep him down. His circumstances proved to be inferior to his faith. "I AM HELPED." He received strength he did not have by nature. He was protected by Divine influences, not innate abilities. He did not credit his wisdom, shrewdness, or ability. With joy he could shout, "My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth" (Psa 121:1).

However, the matter did not end there. David let this blessing modify his behavior. He permitted the blessing to saturate his person. "Therefore my heart greatly rejoices." This is rejoicing in the inmost level–in the real person. This is not surface joy, physical hype, or religious pretension. His rejoicing sprang from his faith, which relied on and perceived the Lord strengthening him. His rejoicing was in the Lord, not in the circumstance. It is joy that springs from realizing if the Lord did not intervene, all would have been lost. But He DID intervene.

The "rejoicing" of the Psalmist took an intelligent form. He did not allow it to remain in his emotion, unexpressed. Such rejoicing must be articulated. With obvious determination, and with great thankfulness, he says, "And with my song I will praise Him." He uses a song, because rejoicing can be effectively expressed in that manner (James 5:13). The song is not composed of redundant or meaningless words, but of praise–intelligent, heartfelt, insightful adoration. Are you able to identify with the experience of the Psalmist?

PRAYER POINT: Father, through Jesus I thank You for being MY strength and MY shield. I praise You that I am helped, and MY heart rejoices. What marvelous tokens of Your matchless grace!