We are fighting back against fear with a message from Psalm 91. Whether it’s a pandemic, a locust plague, a devastating tornado, or the plummeting stock market, we find ourselves in an atmosphere of fear.
Jesus said it would be like this in the last days: “Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” Luke 21:26. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven” Luke 21:10-11.
The Bible has a lot to say about fear. In fact, the phrase “Fear not” or “be not afraid” appears no less than 100 times in the Scripture.
But the Bible also mentions two specific types of fear—terror/dread and reverential awe and humility. This latter “fear” is good (Psalm 111:10) and results in the following:
- Wisdom (Prov. 1:7)
- Hatred of evil (Prov. 8:13)
- Long life (Prov. 10:27)
- Strong confidence (Prov. 14:26)
- A fountain of life (Prov. 14:27)
- Avoidance of evil (Prov. 16:6)
- Restful contentment (Prov. 19:23)
- Wealth and honor and life (Prov. 22:4)
The secret to living without fear in scary times is living in holy fear of God at all times. The believer fights fear with fear. You fight terror, sorrow, fright, timidity, dread, rage, anger and trembling with a life of reverence for God.
Rewind to Psalm 91 and read the entire psalm aloud. Notice the seven direct promises from God given as “I will” statements in verses 14-16. “I will rescue,” “I will protect,” “I will answer,” “I will be with,” “I will deliver and honor,” “I will satisfy,” “I will show my salvation.” This is breathtaking security that goes far beyond masks and hand sanitizer. In times of great trouble and distress, God Himself is a spiritual hazmat suit for those who trust Him.
And who are the recipients of these assurances? The psalmist describes them as “God-dwellers.” God dwellers are those who:
- Live in the “shelter of the Most High,” and “rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Vs. 1)
- Take God as their refuge and fortress, and dwell with Him. This is the believer who not only has been saved and reconciled to God, but who makes his home in God. A home gives the possessor:
- Free Access. Just as you have the freedom and total access to your home, the believer goes to God in total freedom and has “access to him with boldness and confidence,” certain that when he calls, there will be an answer and when he knocks, the door will be opened to him.”
- Necessary Provision. Our food, clothing and possessions are in our homes. And in God, our every need is supplied.
- Sure Protection. We take refuge in our homes when storms threaten. Even now, many are watching us from the safety of their homes. They are sheltering in place. God-dwellers shelter in His grace. He says, “Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, shut the door about thee, and hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” He is our Hiding place.
- Sweet Rest. We are most at peace at home and those who dwell with God have found in Him a resting place. (See Prov. 3:24-26.)
- Trust God. (Vs. 2) “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
- Loves God and acknowledges His Name. (Vs. 14) (This means we adopt His Character.)
- Calls on Him (prays) (Vs. 15). And to those who call on Him, who love and trust Him, who rest and dwell in Him, He says…“I will rescue you,” “I will protect you,” “I will answer you,” “I will be with you,” “I will deliver and honor you,” “I will satisfy you,” “I will show my salvation.”
Blessed assurance! Those who dwell with God have no fear because God dwells with them. My friends, stay well, take the necessary precautions, but have no fear. “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)
Pastor Randy Maxwell