The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? … For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock … I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Sorry, there's no catchy intro for today's devotional. No special personal story to tease. No witty comments to keep you invested. Just some raw and unrefined honesty. And here it is:
I am afraid.
Yes, I am afraid. Perhaps it's a result of spending too much time watching cable news in the past week or so. War, violence and bloodshed, political demonstrations, natural disasters, crazy weather patterns, a limping economy, massive debt and the like. Or maybe it's due to the fact that so many friends and family and acquaintances of mine are experiencing hard times right now as well: job loss, illnesses, marital failures, devastating sin issues, home foreclosures and on and on.
I confess that I have found myself mired in the hopelessness and despair of it all. And I am sad and feel very small. Does anything really matter any more? Is my witness making a difference? Is God really in control of all of this? Does he care? And is the world just going to crash and burn anyway?
I know that this is where the enemy wants to keep me: stuck in my fear with emotions and dismal circumstances blurring my vision. He doesn't want me to remember that I have a lifeline—the hope for eternity that is found in God's Word.
But ha! on the enemy. That's where I'm going right now, and I'm taking you with me. Let's take this fear, measure it against Truth and see what the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega and our Jehovah-jireh has to say:
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you (Psalms 9:9-10). Yes, I will seek the One who is secure and offers me protection! He is my safe place.
"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me" (Psalms 50:15). Yes, I will cry out to the Lord! Help me, my great Protector! You are worthy to be praised!
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). Yes, he is my mighty and unfailing fortress! Of whom shall I be afraid?
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal (Isaiah 26:3-4). Yes, I will meditate on the Truth found in God's Word! I will think on the eternal, unchangeable God and not what I see happening around me. His perfect peace is available to me!
Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God (Isaiah 50:10). Yes, I will trust in my God as I obey what he is asking me to do! He is all I need to guide me when life is confusing and my way is not clear.
I know I can't be the only one who has been "sore afraid" as of late. And perhaps these verses will encourage you today as well. When we focus on the Lord instead of whatever or whomever makes us afraid, we can be confident in he who is our light and our salvation and the stronghold of our lives.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Are you afraid? What is causing you to forget who God is and how he has provided—and will continue to provide—in your life? Spend some time meditating on Psalms 23, and remember that the Lord is the great shepherd of the sheep and that HE is watching over you!