We all want to experience peace right? We want to live in security and safety. Peace to us often means a lack of trouble, yet almost immediately we realize that is not going to happen in this world. We live in a dangerous place. Things go wrong in our lives and in the lives of people we know far too often to believe that they can’t or won’t. So...we are tempted to live in fear. Fear that something that could happen might happen, or worse is going to happen. In those times when we feel trapped in this thinking, we must learn to pray our way from fear to safety and security. To help us do this God has given us Psalm 91. We need to do what the Psalmist does here. Let’s look at the three things we see him doing in this Psalm that Ron talked about on Sunday.
First, the Psalmist is declaring his trust in God’s protection. He does this first by using four names for God. He is “Most High”, he is “Almighty”, he is “The Lord”, the great I Am, and he is “my God”. this is a pretty awesome array of names in two short verses. He is over everything. Everything is beneath him. He is almighty. He can do everything and anything. He is the great I Am... and then it gets personal. This awesome God is “my God”. He is your God. Not some abstract, enigmatic, being out there, he is your father. Your friend. He is in love with you. THIS is the God you can trust. Who you are called to trust. This is your protection and help. This awareness, lived out practically every day, is life changing. This is who surrounds you, loves you and extends care to you every day in the midst of whatever circumstance you are facing. This is where the Psalmist starts. Know your God!
Secondly, The Psalmist names danger...his fear. Don’t you just love this about God. He isn’t asking you to ignore issues or dangers in your life. Based on his understanding of who God is the Psalmist is unafraid to talk about the dangers and fears that he sees out there because no matter how real or big they seem, God is more real and bigger. The snares of this world...philosophies, terrors, attacks, sicknesses...just out and out destructions, are what he is dealing with. Interesting that its not much different than the list we would make now. Now here comes the challenge. We have no guarantee that bad things won’t happen. We see this through out scripture. God allows and purposes difficult times and troubles to come into our lives. They WILL come. It’s not a matter of if but when. Ask yourself this....how would you ever know that God can and does deliver if you never had to face a troubling time or circumstance? Times of trouble are a gift from God to teach us to trust in Him. You will never learn to trust with out them. Anyone can say they trust God, but the only way you find that out is when you have to face your fears. How does the Psalmist know God will deliver you from traps, or disease, or terror? Because he lived through them! He knew from experience. This is how the Bible says we get stronger in faith...through trials (James 1). The key to danger and anxiety and fear is not whether they will come, but what you do with them. Are you rehearsing God’s grace and deliverance? Do you live with the daily awareness that your greatest danger has been taken care of? That Jesus has delivered you from the wrath of God that you justly deserve and made you right with God through His finished work on the cross? There is no greater danger than that, and no greater deliverance than that.
Finally, the Psalmist ends with God speaking. Now he gets personal. Do you stop and listen to God speak to you? He’s speaking to you here. Do you love me? I will deliver you. Do you know my name? I will protect you. Do you call to Him? He will answer you. When trouble comes (and it will!) I will be with you. The Father says he will not only rescue you, but honor you. Jesus has spread his ‘wings’ over you, so to speak. He has come between you and the wrath and judgement of God so you could live securely and in peace. This is the greatest peace on could know. All other difficulties and dangers pale in comparison. You have already seen your greatest danger and been delivered. Now with that same faith and trust in God you can face all the other temporal dangers that can come at you.
The Psalm ends with this truth: God says “I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation”. Absence of difficulty and danger or trial is not what will make your life worthwhile or safe, its being satisfied in God and Him alone. You want security and peace in a dangerous world? It will only come when you realize who you are dealing with. What kind of God do you love and serve? Is his “Most High”? Is he “Almighty”? Is it personal to you? Is He your God? Are you satisfied with Him? If in the midst of all that your answer is “I still feel afraid and anxious”.....welcome to the kingdom. We all do at times. We just need to all do the same thing. Like the Psalmist we need to rehearse who He is and trust Him. Name your fear AND God’s protection and let God be your satisfaction. Not some specific outcome, but Him.