by Steven Chan
In this life, we often struggle with fear and troubles – real or imagined. There are lots of fears – fear of failure, fear of loss of health, fear of loss of income, fear of death, and such likes. We are troubled by these fears as well as by various stresses such as office politics, unreasonable employers, domestic challenges, and economic uncertainties affecting our business, livelihood and investments. We are troubled by these and many other things in our lives.
The apostle Paul also faced dangers and challenges in his life as listed in 2 Cor 11:26-29: “on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak?” (ESV)
We are not alone in feeling the pressures of fears and troubles.
In the face of life’s challenges, the Psalmist penned these words of encouragement in Psa 46:1-2: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear…”
The Bible wants us to know that although in our lives we will face challenges, we should not fear BECAUSE God is our refuge and strength, and very present help in time of trouble. We do not need to feel desperate and look within ourselves for help; we can count on God to be our helper.
The apostle Peter advised us in 1 Peter 5:6-11 to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (meaning we need to trust God and not in ourselves):
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Our adversary, the devil, seeks to devour each one of us – none of us will be spared from being a targeted victim of the devil (“knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world”); we are not on the only ones facing these troubles and fears. But we must not give in to our troubles and fears. We need to resist these fears and troubles from the devil, by being steadfast in our faith. We resist him by steadfastly going to our Lord for help in times of troubles. Heb 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The Psalmist shares with us his personal experience with God. He declares that indeed “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. By going to God in our prayers, and carefully considering His words of wisdom and guidance as contained in the Scriptures, we can find safety, comfort and peace of mind in Him (Phil 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”)
The Psalmist tells us that we can also find strength from God to face our fears and troubles as was also testified by the apostle Paul in Phil 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Finally, the Psalmist says that God is ever present to help us. Unlike man, God is able, ever willing and ready to help us in our fears and troubles. We do not have to wait for a convenient time to go to our Father in heaven. He is always ready to help us. But are we ready to seek His help? Ps 46:7: “The LORD of hosts is with us” – this is a blessed assurance indeed.
The Psalmist closed his words fo encouragement to us with these words from God as recorded in Ps 46:10:
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Instead of despairing and trying to find solutions in the wrong places, when we face fears and troubles, we need to stop and “be still” and reflect on who our God is. Psa 46:8-9:
“Come, behold the works of the LORD, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.”
We are blessed indeed because we have God on our side and He is the One who created the earth and the heavens, and all things therein. He is all –powerful and ever willing to help us. Be still, and know God. Do we really know God? Are we too busy rushing about trying to fix all our fears and troubles that we do not have the time to be still and know our Lord?
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” Do you fear?