Day 1 – Do Not Fear: God is Our Refuge
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.
A series titled “Do Not Fear” could very easily make a lot of us quickly tune out. Of course we know that we aren’t supposed to be afraid or be worrying about each and every situation. We’ve been told all our lives that we need to step out in confidence, not letting our fears control us. We’ve heard quotes like “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” time and time again.
Yet, there are many things in our lives that seem to warrant fear. It could be the fear of being unable to make enough money, the fear of disappointing family or friends, the fear of not leaving a legacy or making a difference in our community or world. For some of us, we might even fear failure of our physical or mental health. In a world where very little is guaranteed and even less is completely dependable, there is no wonder we find ourselves afraid.
Psalm 46 speaks to our fears, calling God being a refuge. It’s very easy to quickly read over this without truly taking to heart the meaning of this statement, so let’s pause for a moment to break it down.
God is our refuge. Refuge is safety or shelter from all types of pursuit, danger, or trouble. Refuge is what runaway slaves in the early and mid-1800’s would seek when running to other states or cities in order to escape from a slave-owner who they greatly feared. Refuge is an area in a building to flee to when there is fear of an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane. It is a safe place to go to when there is fear of danger or abuse. This is not a word to be thrown around lightly.
God promises here to be our refuge. In the moments when we find ourselves afraid, He offers himself as an asylum for the broken and afraid, a shelter for the poor and hungry, and a fortress for the weak. No matter what there is to fear, God is our refuge.
“Therefore we will not fear”
Without a doubt, this is a tall order. Yet, the beauty of God offering himself as a refuge is that He is the one doing the protecting. He is the one sheltering us and holding us fast through all we might fear in this life. Because we know that God is our refuge from all things, we no longer have any need to hold onto our fears.
“Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
This is the very extreme of all the things that could go wrong in our world. The world is physically falling apart here. This verse is proclaiming that even the very end of the world should not cause us to fear because we take refuge in the firm foundation and mighty fortress that is our God.
Do not fear because God is our refuge.
May we move ever closer to knowing this to be true in both our heads and our hearts.
Action Step: Read Psalm 18:1-2 and take a few minutes to pray, praising God for His faithfulness through all situations, and asking Him to give you strength and courage to be able to trust in Him completely no matter what troubles may come.