Songwriter R.E. Winsett penned the words “troublesome times are here filling men’s hearts with fear”. Those words can certainly be applied to this time in our lives. The media is spending almost all of it’s time reporting on the Coronavirus, with most coverage presenting a “worst case” scenario for its outcome. Schools are closed, non-essential businesses are closed, and my last count indicated 31 states have issued “stay at home” orders. Claims for unemployment have risen to record breaking levels with 3.3 million new claims. Our economy is in or headed into a recession. Congress just passed a 2 trillion dollar relief bill which will certainly add to a huge national budget deficit. Many people are simply afraid and searching for something secure in a time of insecurity. The good news is that you can actually find security in the very midst of troubled times.
Psalm 46 has been referenced often over the past few weeks. But, allow me to make a few observations about this passage in hopes that we might be reminded that there is a place of security to be found. Here’s what the Bible says.
Psalm 46 King James Version (KJV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. 8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. 9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
We Find Security in His Person
“God is our refuge and strength.”
What brings you security? Your money, your talents and abilities, your position, financial help from the government? As a believer, we don’t need to seek refuge in those things that cannot provide real security. No, our refuge is in the Lord. Our protection, our shelter is to be found in the Lord our God. Yet, here’s the issue. You and I have to go to the place of shelter in order for it to be utilized. We have got to make the decision to turn to Him, to trust Him, to believe that He can and will protect us. We must resist the temptation to lean on the things we see and place our faith in the unseen. We must run to Him and if we will, we can find shelter, strength, and a very present help (aid giver) in our time of trouble.
Please don’t miss the level of security. It’s so secure that even though the mountains shake (vs 2) and the seas roar (vs 3), when everything is falling apart around us……..we will not fear because we have security in His person, simply in who He is!
We Find Security in His Presence
Even in hard times, when their city had been besieged, when citizens were losing their lives, in times of distress and oppression……God was with them and they knew it! Did you see that acknowledgement?
Vs 1 – A very present help in time of trouble.
Vs 5 – God in her midst.
Vs 6 – Lord of hosts with us.
Isn’t is comforting to know that our Lord is with us not only in the good times but in the bad? In the troubled times. Reality check. Our Lord is always with us. No matter how dark the night may be or how troubled the waters may be He is there in the midst of it all, a very present help.
I know that sometimes it seems the Lord is not near, that maybe He’s abandoned us. But please remember that His presence is not confirmed by my feelings. It’s confirmed upon His Word. It’s factual. He’s put it in writing. He said he would never leave you nor forsake you!
Our grand-daughter, Savannah, is almost 2. Not long ago she was staying with us when something scared her. Immediately she turned and ran to Jan. As soon as Jan scooped her up the fear and panic vanished. Why? Because she knew that someone who loved and cared for her, had her. She knew that in mamaw’s strong arms there was protection. You see, Savannah understood that she could find a place of refuge in the person and presence of Jan.
What a lesson. When things start coming apart in our lives, when life hands you a bowl of “unexpected” RUN, don’t walk, to to the Lord your God and rest in His person and His presence!
We Find Security In His Power
Before being called to preach, I spent about 7 years in law enforcement. Early into one of my evening shifts I responded to a single car traffic accident. When I arrived I encountered a very agitated gentleman who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As I began to try to investigate things this subject became increasingly belligerent and what appeared to be a simple accident with minor property damage was about to escalate into an arrest that would likely involve an “assault on an officer” charge among others. Circumstances quickly dictated that for my my safety and his, I needed to restrain this person. But, I knew from experience what was about to happen. First this man wasn’t going to simply allow me to restrain him. Second, the moment I put my hands on him to cuff him, that’s when the fight would ensue. Third, since he was considerably larger than me (and because I had every intention of getting out of this with minimal damage and going home to my family) I needed to end any fight quickly. Anyways, just before the inevitable clash, backup arrived in the form of a 6’7″, 285 lb, brick wall of an officer. Now, we still had a little tussle on our hands, but nothing like what it was about to be. And, I will not tell a lie, I was thankful that someone more powerful than me and bigger than my problem came on the scene!
Look back at Vs 1 again – He is our strength, mighty and impenetrable Vs 8 – Behold the works of the Lord. Vs 9 – He makes wars cease. The Lord had delivered them from their captors hands. In fact read carefully again verses 3-10 again and you will see that our God is greater, more powerful than any foe we may face. Genesis 18 asks “Is anything too hard for our God”. Answer – NO! Job said of the Lord, “I know you can do anything”. Matthew said, “With God all things are possible”.
Listen, one of the attributes of God is omnipotence. He is all powerful! Has no limits! He is greater than all our troubles! Are these uncertain times? Yes! Insecure days? Sure! Troublesome times? Without question! BUT, we can still find security in these days. Where? In His person, presence, and power.
Back to Savannah for a moment. When she ran into Jan’s arms after being frightened, she didn’t do anything else. She just got real still in those arms. Please don’t miss verse 10. It’s the key to it all. When we face troubles, we must be still. That means to let fall, to let go, literally to be relaxed and KNOW that He is God.
I’ll talk about that a little more in my next post.