This Psalm Expresses My Deepest Hope – And The Hope Of All Christians.

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

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This verse in Psalm 27 expresses the deepest hope of the believer; to one day be able to be in the presence of the Lord at all times, to be able to see him in the face, to gaze upon his inexpressible beauty forever.

We believe that our souls are made in the image and likeness of God. From the moment of our conception in the holy sanctuary of our mother’s wombs, our souls have been animated and sustained by God. From that moment on, our souls long to return to their Maker. But life happens. We find early on that life is difficult, that suffering comes unbidden. Troubles seem to come in legions at times. But as we grow in knowledge of God and his word, as we experience his love and his mercy in our lives, our desire to know him, to love him, and to serve him also grows.

By the grace of God, the more we come to know him, the more we want to be with him in his holy temple all the time. This was so for David, and it is so for us as well. For David, this meant the actual, physical temple in Jerusalem. He longed for the presence of God in the temple, and for his protection from all of his enemies. In our longing to be in God’s presence we go into the inner temple of our souls to be with him there in our prayer. We, too, long for his protection in the midst of the troubles that the world can throw at us. This is one of the main reasons for why we pray. We wish to, “hide in his shelter in the day of trouble; [to be concealed] under the cover of his tent…” We need him to, “lift us high upon a rock,” out of reach of our troubles. (verse 5)

Of course, God knows our longing. He knows our need. It is his desire that we seek his face. Still, in our weakness, we sometimes doubt. We sometimes feel as if he is hiding his face from us, but he does not. He never abandons us. It is we who, in our foolishness, abandon him. Yet he remains, and when we cry out to him, he answers our prayers, he teaches us his ways. It is by his grace that we see and come to know this. When we turn to him, he will deliver us from our enemies, from the hands of those who hate us, and those who bear false witness against us. It is in our faith that we know that we will one day, “look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” It is in believing in God and doing his will that we will, on the Last Day, finally enter into the land of the living, to be in his presence, joyfully gazing at his beauty, forever.

Lord, we believe in your eternal love for us. We pray that you give us patient endurance and keep us strong in faith. Give us the courage to live in accord with you will in all that we do for we long to see your face in the land of the living. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.