FEAR. It doesn’t trust easily. It wants to be the boss. It is impatient. It wants relief now.
“You can’t blame fear for wanting a place of peace and rest, and wanting it fast. The odd thing is that fear and anxiety are running away from something, but they don’t know what to run to. Fear calls out for a person bigger than ourselves. The greatest possibility for rest and comfort lies in the knowledge of the true God. So here is the proposal: let fear point us to the knowledge of God, and let the Spirit of God, by way of Scripture, teach us the knowledge of God. If fear is a personal matter, we must set off to know a person.” (snippets from Edward T. Welch’s book Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest)
Jesus said in Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He is my Father. He is the King. He is generous.
“As Father, God comes close to you. He knows your needs and you take comfort in His love. As King, He sovereignly reigns over His kingdom, and His bidding will come to pass. You take comfort in His power. If He is going to speak effectively to your fears, He must be both loving and strong, and indeed He is!” (Edward T. Welch)
Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
- Am I dwelling in the shelter of the Most High today? It is there I will find peace and rest.
Psalm 91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
- Satan is always setting up a snare for those who follow Christ. That is why the Christian faith is a battle. The deadly pestilence–what is more deadly than our sin which separates us eternally from God? Yet in His kindness, God has delivered me. He has sent Christ to carry the burden of my sin so that I can be free. There is deliverance!
Psalm 91:4-13 He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terrors by night, nor the arrows that fly by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place–the Most High, who is my refuge–no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
- What gentleness, what care the Lord has for me. His protection reaches farther than I can imagine. He covers me and protects me so that evil cannot touch me. He is faithful. Is He my dwelling place? It is there I will find peace and rest. It is there I will confidently conquer.
Psalm 91:14-16 Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
- What comforting promises the Lord makes to those who are fearful! When I feel like running in fear, may I hold fast to my Lord in love. Do I know the power of his name? He is my ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). I don’t need to strive with an anxious heart to protect myself–He will protect me. He will answer me. He will be with me. He will rescue me. He will honor me. He will satisfy me. He is my salvation. Covered in Christ’s blood, I am eternally shielded from harm.
May the Lord be the place that I run. “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in God” (Psalm 56:3).