Psalm 33:20-21 "Patience, Help, and Joy" (Shield of Faith - Week 1)

Psalm 33:20-21 "Patience, Help, and Joy" (Shield of Faith - Week 1)

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. (ESV)

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. (NIV)

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. (NLT)

Theme Intro:

This month, we’re going to explore the theme of faithfulness in the context of taking up the shield of faith in all circumstances. We encourage each other to move forward into greater courage, living lives by faith in Jesus, taking hold of the promise of eternal life, and knowing that our God can use even mustard-seed-sized faith to move mountains. The Shield of Faith, sturdy and unyielding, stands against the lies of our enemy that fire upon us. Our faith stands the test of time, no matter the schemes that lie in wait.

Dive Deeper:

It’s hard to think of a word that I’d better want to describe my life than faithful. I want to be full of faith in my relationship with the Lord and in every human relationship—with my spouse, as a parent, in friendships, and as an employee. In Matthew 25:23, the servant is praised by his master for being good and faithful; as a reward, he’s put in charge of even more. God desires for us to trust him and for our lives to be marked by faithfulness.

Psalm 33 is all about the faithfulness of the Lord and how He shows His faithfulness to His people. All the Lord’s work is done in faithfulness (Psalm 33:4), the earth is full of His steadfast love (33:5), and all that He says will happen actually does happen (33:9)!

Patience, Help, and Joy

As we turn to our key passage, we see three things happen when we lean into His faithfulness and trust in His holy name.

  1. We wait in hope for the Lord. It’s so difficult to be patient—just about every one of us can relate to the challenges of faithfully waiting. Whether we’re waiting for God to answer a prayer, awaiting test results, or wondering why we still struggle with sin, every one of us knows it’s tough to wait. There’s a reason patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). In our instant culture, waiting and demonstrating patience is increasingly challenging. I even struggle with patience in memorizing scripture! But the Psalmist tells us we’re not just simply waiting; rather we wait in hope for the Lord.
  2. He is our help and our shield. Where do you turn for help, and who or what do you seek to protect you? I am often ‘guilty’ of turning to people before the Lord in times of help and need. When I want input on a decision or prayer, my first step is to bring others in. Even though I am including others and turn to Christ's followers, my first step is usually towards people and not God. Paul reminds us to trust in Him and in all our ways to acknowledge Him (Philippians 4:6-7). He is our help with all needs, and He is the one to protect us: not our money, our reputation, our righteousness, or anything else. He is our help and our shield.
  3. For our hearts are glad in him. Once again, we have a great opportunity to reflect. What makes you happy and brings you gladness? For me, it’s often good things like food, encouragement from others, or money in the bank. But while these are good things, what’s the true source of your gladness? What or who makes you rejoice when you’re waiting in the Lord, need help, or need protection? Anything outside of the Lord will fall short.

We can be patient, come to the Lord as our help and protection, and find true joy in the Lord. He is a faithful God, so we can trust Him.

Written by Scott Kedersha


What one word would you choose to describe your life? If someone had to summarize your life in one word, what would it be? While there are many great options (e.g., holy, kind, generous, loving), I hope we all choose to be faithful in all ways and circumstances. Ask God to help you be more faithful today.


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