“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst . . . will be quiet in the midst of alarm.” (F. B. Meyer 1847–1929)
In these frightening times when our well-ordered life is beset by trouble, what are we to do? The Lord’s simple instruction is to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NKJ). But at such times does our thought process immediately recall that well-known verse of scripture? Perhaps not.
Psalm 46 is the one on which Martin Luther based his famous hymn ‘A mighty fortress is our God.’ It might have been written following Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32) or some natural disaster. The Psalm has particular relevance in the light of current issues as we react to news of thousands of people who have died as a result of the Corona Virus. It is not always easy to reflect on spiritual rather than earthly things.
To be still and to cease our concerns does not mean that we just wait for God to act, it means trusting that the Lord is in control, no matter what calamity may befall us or the world. These calamities that cause such death and suffering can have potential for good as people and nations rally. Yet I doubt that a day will go by when there is not a media report on some situation that has occurred because of human carelessness or because someone has foolishly violated God’s or society’s laws. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, rather to fulfill his purpose, but having said that be encouraged by John 10:10. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Although Paul’s circumstances of tragedy were very different, being imprisoned would cause many people to become bitter or to give up. Paul saw it as one more opportunity to spread the Good News of Christ. Paul realized that his current circumstances, as bad as they were, were not as important as what he did with them. Turning a bad situation into a good one, he reached out to the Roman soldiers who made up the palace guard and encouraged those Christians who were afraid of persecution. We may not be in prison, but we still have plenty of opportunities to be discouraged by cataclysmic events such as the world is experiencing. Man has always been beset by fear and worry. To people of all time Jesus said, “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow..but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33,34 KJV). At times such as these we are filled with a thousand anxieties. Bring them to Jesus Christ by faith. He will bring peace to your soul and your mind.
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
Have a good week, Pastor Ron
This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-fifth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions.
Pastor Ron Clarke OAM
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