Read Psalm 46
Focus on verses 1-2
I have written quite often about fear and its power as a motivator in the past. In today’s reading it surfaces again as the psalmist encourages the reader how to overcome their fear. Apparently it is possible to face cataclysmic circumstances without fear if we understand Who it is that controls these things. The Psalm begins:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, (v. 1-2)
When we understand and believe that God is in control of all things, and that this same God loves us and desires what is best for us, we can face any situation without fear. Why is it then that we so often allow fear to motivate us to act in disobedience to the will of God? It would seem there is some disconnect in our thinking about the power and character of God. We either have doubts about His power, or we have doubts about His love. We either do not believe He is able to be our help, or we do not trust Him with what we believe to be our best interests. The bottom line seems to be that we have trouble letting go of our own desires, wants, and dreams long enough to let Him give us the true desires of our hearts.
Perhaps it comes down to what the Apostle Paul writes about in his letter to the Galatians about being “crucified with Christ” – a metaphor of how in order to live fully for Christ we first have to die completely to self. The old nature that clings to the things of the world is the generator of the fear that keeps us from the abundant life available in the Spirit through submission to Christ.
The Lord give us a clue to where we can find the courage to trust Him through the words of this psalm; “Be still, and know that I am God.” When we still the clamoring of the old nature that seeks to intimidate us with the fear of what we might lose, and focus on knowing God in all His wisdom and majesty, it helps to give us the perspective we need to trust that what we have to gain is infinitely more valuable than what we may have to give up.