A few weeks back when discussing how to overcome fear with faith, I was guided to read Psalm 91. At first, I wondered how this particular chapter was going to help me overcome one of my biggest fears, but I decided to give it a go anyway. Every evening before going to bed, I’d listen to this chapter on repeat [in fact I still do it now and will probably continue for some time].
One of the most beautiful things about Psalm 91 is the overarching theme of God’s protection in the midst of danger. God doesn’t promise a world free from danger, but He does promise His help whenever we face it. The first two verses alone contain words such as shelter, refuge, safety. A reminder for us [that especially in our darkest times] we never walk alone.
‘Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him’
There’s so much to unpack in just these two verses. The KJV translation refers to God’s shelter as the ‘secret place’. For something to be ‘secret’ it is not known or seen [or not meant to be known or seen] by others. To dwell [ie. take up permanent residence] in this place, is to live in close fellowship with God. When God puts us through trials and tribulation, the intention is not to see us suffer, but to help us develop the Godly character needed to stay with Him through thick and thin. The secret place is reserved for those who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and to dwell there is to live in Christ. It’s so easy to find comfort in other things or people in the midst of trouble, this verse tells us that we must redirect ourselves and find shelter in the Most High.
Now once we access this shelter, we find rest [in the shadow of the Almighty]. Shadows by definition are a place of protection or covering, they provide relief from the direct heat of the sun. If the heat is severe, the shade is the place we run to. It diminishes what we actually feel in the intensity of the heat. We should no longer feel burdened by this world because our trust is in God. We have faith in God as a protector to carry us through all the dangers and fears of life. If there’s one thing I strive for on my journey with Christ, is peace and tranquility. For this to happen, I am told that I must trade all of my fears for faith in God, no matter how intense my fears are. To do this, I must ‘live’ and ‘rest’ with Him. By entrusting myself to His protection and pledging daily devotion to Him, I will be kept safe.
It then goes on to remind us that God is our refuge, our place of safety. There are such great blessings once we seek after God and choose to walk in His ways. He becomes our refuge in every time of trouble; someone who protects us and continuously keeps us safe. It ends with ‘and I trust Him’. To trust is to move to the stable conviction that whatever God decides to do is the right thing. It means being at peace with what He does and what He decides. As mentioned in a previous post, we must trust Him completely, not be wise in our own eyes but be willing to listen to and be corrected by the Most High.