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.
There is nothing small about God. The psalmist imagined several dramatic catastrophes, we would call them “worst case scenarios,” and averred that they did not remove one iota of God’s strength to save and protect and rescue His people.
Ten years ago this week the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City occurred. In the past ten years the world has accepted the sad reality of terrorism and the fact that no one on earth is entirely exempt from its reach. I believe we already knew this – at least on some level, that not one of us is completely safe from danger or even disaster, but the attacks ten years ago seemed to raise the stakes in the global war on terror. We now know for sure that terrorists can strike places that we presumed were off limits, that they are willing to harm innocent lives to achieve their goals.
As disturbing as this fact is, it does not shorten the arm of the Lord to save nor deter Him from rescuing and protecting His people. In difficult times we need to retain deep within our hearts the assurance of the faithfulness of God. God is our refuge and strength and we can trust in Him in all circumstances.
This particular promise here is His presence in times of chaos, and His presence soothes our spirits and calms our hearts. When trouble appears on the horizon we can turn to God to be certain of His presence. If God is here – and He promised never to forsake us – then our hearts should be at peace in all circumstances.
God ministers to our hearts through His presence and the great need during times of agitation is to be with God, to listen to His Spirit, to read His word. Often His presence is felt more when we are in the company of devout believers – this is a great service to the body of Christ, to simply be with someone and for them to sense also the presence of the Lord through your presence. It seems to me that this is included in the spiritual gift known as “faith,” to simply take the profound reality of God into earthly situations.
Lord, grant us the assurance of Your presence so that we do not live in fear, despite the chaotic conditions around us. Amen.