NKJV = “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
NIV = “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
What grabbed me about this scripture is the part which says “in the land of the living.” From this statement, it seems like David is making it a point that the purpose of our faith is for the here and now. To think that having faith is solely for taking us into heaven is a frightful place to be in because that is a faith that has no activity and is therefore dead.
The work of faith is critical for the believer. If our lives aren’t chalk full of testimonies exclaiming the goodness of God, then we will “lose heart” as David puts it. And the goodness of God is defined as “good things, collective, produce of the land to be eaten” so it is very much physical blessings as well as spiritual blessings that affect the state of our souls.
And this reminds me of 1 John 5:14-15 which says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
I have made a list of petitions because I don’t want to be in a place where I don’t have simply because I haven’t asked. And I can feel confident that my faith is active because of the things I am asking for. It’s like giving your faith something to sink its teeth into.
And the final thing I wanted to mention is that right after verse 13, the scripture goes on to say “Wait on the Lord” which has a strong implication to hope. Because the definition of “wait” is “to look eagerly for, patiently, wait upon”. It’s as if, when I ask for something, through my confident expectation I see it in the distance and although it isn’t here yet, I know its coming. Much like the parable of the growing seed, first I see the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head (Mark 4:28).