When you go on a camping trip, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that your tent pegs are hammered securely into solid ground. Once that step is complete, you can go about other activities with a greater peace of mind, knowing that your shelter will weather a storm—which certainly beats the alternative of coming back to a campsite and seeing that your tent has blown away!
In this verse, David is responding to feeling forgotten and disappointed in life, and being unfairly opposed by others around him. He begins by applying his mind to the situation; recalling what he already knows, David declares his trust in God’s faithful love.
This trust was volitional. Though the feelings of his heart were real, David chose to bring his emotions under the jurisdiction of God’s character and purposes. He staked his hope—the tent pegs of his heart—in the solid ground of God’s steadfast love and unfailing mercies. Only then could he rejoice once again.
In the new heaven and new earth, life’s storms will finally be stilled. In the meantime, we will pass through squalls and even deluges. We will endure with joy to the extent that we trust that our Father is wise. When He does not give us something, it’s because He knows it’s better for us not to have it. When He entrusts us with something hard to accept, it’s because He is giving us the privilege of bearing testimony to His grace in that circumstance. When He leads us through the rain, it is because He knows it will cause us to cling closer to Him and cause our character to become more conformed to His (James 1:2-4).
When we look at the shattered remnants of our most trying experiences, it often seems as if collapse is imminent. But in those moments, we can remember that God exchanges “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3, KJV). Each trial we face is an opportunity to remind ourselves that, as with David, it is God’s steadfast love that secures our souls and gives us reason to delight in His salvation.
Today, the call to each of us is to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, help me to have the tent pegs of my life staked securely in Your steadfast love, so that in life and death, in joy and sorrow, in sickness and health, I might rejoice.”