What do you fear?
Maybe the feeling of fear comes when you think about your future. You have financial fears, job fears, or fears about your aging parents. You have fears about retirement and how you’ll ever pay the bills.
Maybe your fears are concerning your marriage or about your kids and how they’re going to turn out. And on and on…
So how do you respond when you’re gripped by fear? And where can you see God in the midst of your most fearful times?
Psalm 46 gives us some comfort and instruction concerning our fears:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)
The theme of Psalm 46 is that God, and God alone, is our only security. God is our refuge and our strength.
Therefore, you don’t have to be afraid because God is for you. He is not against you – He’s not waiting for you to mess up. When you’re in trouble and you realize that eighty percent of your troubles you brought on yourself, God doesn’t have His arms crossed and a smug grin on His face as He tells you, “I told you so!” That’s a childhood picture, not a Biblical one.
God is for you. How?
He is a refuge.
A refuge is a defensive place of protection. It takes care of the external issues. A refuge is a place where you can run to and once you get inside, you can shut the door and you’re safe. But God’s refuge is not a big, steel building or some tunnel underground with food storage – it’s bigger than that!
The God of the universe says, “I, personally, will be your refuge. You can come in with Me, and I will wrap My arms around you. I will be your refuge.”
He is our strength.
But that’s not all. Not only does God promise external provision, He also provides provision from within – strength.
But He only gives us strength minute by minute, moment by moment. He is not focused on strength for tomorrow. There is no such thing as hypothetical grace.
We all worry about tomorrow. “What about the job tomorrow? What if this relationship goes south in a month? What if I don’t have…?” We get anxious, we get uptight, we get fearful of what might happen, but there is no grace in tomorrow. And the truth is, we don’t know if tomorrow is even coming.
Our only responsibility is to trust God for today. And when we do, He says He will be our strength. Moment by moment, God says, “I will be your strength.”
But maybe you’re now thinking to yourself, “I bet that’s only for spiritual superstars. I bet God only gives that in really extreme situations.”
He is our ever-present help.
When is He our help? In times of trouble. He is readily available in times of trouble – no matter how great, no matter how hard. He will show up right where you’re at. His supernatural presence will be with you – in your relationships, in your fear, in your trouble, in your hurt, and in your anxiety. His very presence will sustain you.
What’s our part?
God does not reveal Himself in a vacuum. His Words are life. When you hurt, first open His Word and read and cry out in desperation. Then, pray a prayer of absolute surrender and dependency. And when you do, the Lord Almighty will be with you and speak to you.
To learn more about meeting God in the middle of your most difficult moments, check out Chip’s audio series, Finding God When You Need Him Most.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip