When confidence replaces fear.

When confidence replaces fear.

Read Psa. 91

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the almighty.”

Fear paralyzes us as it grips the heart and captures our minds. When fear gains a foothold, it can completely shut down our emotional system. Many today suffer from panic attacks; when they are overwhelmed with such intense anxiety, even when there is no real danger or apparent cause. When a person experiences such an attack, it can cause them to become wholly debilitated as their body response system jump into overdrive, and their emotional response becomes overwhelmed. According to research, an estimated 4.7% of adults will experience a panic disorder at some point in their lives.

Even if we never experience such an emotional overload of fear, we still live with fear and anxiety. It is not surprising then that the Bible refers to fear and anxiety many times, and many Psalms focus on fear and insecurity.

In Psalm 91, we find the Psalmist confronting many of the fears he experiences in life. He speaks of the dangers of enemies. He speaks of the threat of pestilence and plague. He faces the fear and danger of death. He even speaks of the fear of the night. The unknown fears we experience when our imagination runs wild, and we conjure up threats that may or may not be real. For the Psalmist, the answer to fear is found in the security of God. For him, God becomes a fortress.

On a rugged Plateau near the Dead Sea, Herod built the famous fortress of Masada. Constructed from stone, it provided a place of security that he could flee if his life were in danger. It was this type of fortress that the Psalmist has in mind; an impenetrable rock fortress that was unassailable by any army. However, this fortress was not a castle built by the hands of men; it was the person of God. Thus, in times of trouble and fear, he could flee to God, and God would provide a protective covering like a hen would protect her chicks.

For the Psalmist, our hope is not found in our own abilities to confront threats but in the infinite power and protection of God. In verses 14-16, we see God respond to his request for protection. When the Psalmist flees to God, God gives him the promise of his protection to those that call upon him. God gives us three reasons we can be confident. First, God promises us his presence, “Will be with him in trouble.” God does not just promise to send his angels to protect us (vs. 11), but he states that he will also come to be our companion, walk beside us and fight for us. Second, he promises to rescue and honor him. God does not just promise to protect us in the trial but to deliver us from the situation. Last he promises to reveal his salvation. He preserves us from harm and gives us victory over our threats because he is a God who saves.

When confronted with real and imagined fears, remember God, not circumstances, is the basis of your security. There is nothing that is a threat to Him and nothing that threatens his protective hand. There is no place more secure than dwelling in the shelter of him.

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