I think I struggle with some of the same fears as the next person. I fear rejection – will people like me? I have days when I’m afraid I don’t measure up as a husband, father or pastor. I’m not sure how I feel about my daughter going back to daycare.
Then I have more irrational fears. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been convinced the way I’ll go is death by shark attack (I’ve been in the ocean like 3 times in my life!). We all have fears that range from legitimate to ludicrous.
Some of us are afraid that the thing we’re facing right now is insurmountable. Whether your fears seem massive or miniscule, I pray the words of Psalm 46:1-3 will bring you comfort:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Is there a more vivid description of that feeling like your world is falling a part? The Psalmist seems to be painting a portrait of Armageddon. All of us have resonated with these verses at some point. Whether that’s personal chaos, the fear of COVID-19, or watching the political and religious upheaval take place around our world. It’s easy to let our fears cause our minds to unravel. But:
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (verse 7, 11)
What do you do when things seem dire and your fears are running rampant? You go to your “safe place.” God, our refuge and strength. He’s our only sure hope in seasons of uncertainty.
Psalm 46:1-11 concludes by describing the chaos of a war-torn, sin-filled world (read the whole Psalm here). Yet, the God who created this world can calm the chaos with just a word. “He lifts his voice, the earth melts.”
And it’s this God who says to His enemies, to those who would threaten His people, to our fears and failures, our biggest obstacles and, most of all, to our greatest enemy (Satan):
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (verse 10)
Satan would love nothing more than for us to believe he’s won. That our worst fears will come true. That we can’t overcome our sin or struggles. But the same words Jesus said to the stormy sea, He says to Satan, “Peace. Be still,” (Mark 4:39). We know that Jesus won our greatest victory through His death on a cross, and an empty tomb. And we know how our story will eventually end (Revelation 22:1-5).
So, when the walls are caving in, the fears are mounting, and you’re just not sure what to do, take God’s sound advice, “Be still, and know that I am God… The LORD Almighty is with us.”
But waiting is the hardest part, isn’t it? We need answers yesterday. We’re busy—there are emails, texts and calls to return. And besides, being still means I’m left alone with my thoughts.
God doesn’t want your thoughts to run wild. He wants you to think of Him. Enjoy His presence. I pray we would not miss this opportunity to quiet ourselves before God.
Prayer: God, our refuge and strength. Help us to fix our gaze on your glory more than the things we face today. Thank you for Jesus, who won our victory. I pray we’d trust you with today, and let tomorrow take care of itself. For those who are suffering, who need to know your peace that transcends all understanding, we ask for your comfort. We love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
God bless you,