For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
Psalm 84 is about the heart of a true worshiper. It reads like a Song of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). But it is actually a song of trust. It is a psalm of the Sons of Korah. But we do not know who wrote this psalm. And we do not know the occasion that moved the psalmist to write it. But the message of is clear: Nothing in the world can compare to being in communion with the living God!
When I was boy in Sunday school, each lesson text had a “Golden Verse” – a key verse to remember. The golden verse of Psalm 84 is verse 10:
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
In the next verse, the psalmist explains his reasoning: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
The Lord protects those who trust in him, as a sun and shield. And the Lord provides for those who trust in him. He provides what we need to be what he wants us to be: “the Lord bestows favor and honor.” He also provides what we need to do what he wants us to do: “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
As I read through this psalm, the closing promise of verse 11 was like a speed bump that called me to attention: “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
That’s a big promise. Is it true? Absolutely! It is a true as the holy character of God, the unfailing truth of scripture, and the finished work of Christ.
What about those times when it seems God has withheld the good thing I desired, needed, or requested?
When it seems God has withheld something good, we should not ask if his promises can be trusted. God is always faithful to do his part. We are not. Instead of question God, we should question ourselves.
Here are three important questions to ask as you wrestle with this big promise of God…
Is it Good?
Sometimes we pray like an archer who shoots an arrow into the wall and then paints a bullseye around it. If we think it’s good, it must be so. But a thing is not necessarily good, because it feels good, looks good, or seems good to us. God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). But the Lord does not define what is good by what is comfortable, pleasurable, and enjoyable. It is good if it conforms you to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). So, maybe the problem is not that the Lord withheld a something good from you. It may be that what you deemed to be good to you was not actually good for you.
Do I Really Trust the Lord?
The Lord does withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. But he does not bestow good things according to our schedule, process, or expectations. God is God, and we are not. The promises of God do not overrule the sovereignty of God. God works as God wills. Because God is good, you can trust him to bestow the good things that you need. But we must not be like impatient children, who translate a “yes” from their parents to mean “now.” God’s delays are not God’s denials. But you must patient to receive some good things. To trust in God’s faithful promises is to wait on God’s perfect timing.
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Am I walking upright?
Let’s suppose the thing you have been praying for is genuinely good. And you have not succumbed to worry, doubt, or fear, as you wait on God’s perfect timing. Yet is seems the Lord continues to withhold the good thing. What’s up with that? Well, there’s another vital factor to consider. The psalmist says, “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Could it be that you are blaming God for having a stingy hand, when the real issue is that you have rebellious feet? Don’t just ask God to put a good thing in your hand. Ask God to change your heart so that you walk right with good things in your hands.
Asks yourselves three questions concerning the things you are trusting the Lord to do your life: Is it good? Do I trust God? Am I walking upright?