Let us be still, behold, and be bold!

What is fear?

Fear is a normal human emotion. Like anger, lust, covetousness, and love, it is an emotional gift of God and can be used rightly or wrongly. For example, one can covet righteousness, express righteous indigignation, love justice, and have a healthy lust for Christ. In a similar manner, Scripture tells us “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Righteous fear is a normal human emotion. It is an emotional gift from God, and it is not always sinful.

However, let us be very honest, fear is often our sinful human response to the troubles of life sovereignly ordained by God. It shows we lacks faith and distrust our King. And every time we have faithless fear, it is a horrible transgression against our Heavenly Father.

What do we fear?

How about I let you into my soul. Today, I fear …

  • The continued care of my mom, dad, and father-in law.
  • The possibility of them and other older friends contracting the Coronavirus.
  • Increased polarity, schism, racism, and hatred in the United States.
  • An even more serious economic downturn, recession, and or depression.
  • Current legislative decisions, the upcoming election, and deconstruction of America.
  • Choices made by my children that could have long-lasting ramifications or scars.
  • Several “thorns in the flesh” that I have prayed for God to take – more than 3 times.
  • Private sins being made public – proving my reputation is sharper than my character.
  • Failing as a husband and father.
  • Failing as a pastor, and preacher; lacking wisdom and skill in preaching.
  • Failing to please absolutely everyone, all the time, in my church. (Yes, this is ludicrous.)
  • Assisting elders and staff to make foolish decisions in session and staff meetings.
  • Harming and losing members of Christ’s flock who exit out the back door.
  • Failing to build a relevant and effective church.
  • Failing to build a large, reproducing, and famous church. (Yes, this is sinfully vain.)
  • What might happen to my body and mind as I get older?
  • How I need to perform in order to get my God to approve of me. (This is the worst. This is Gospel-heresy, and it is something I struggle with every day. When my eyes are off of Christ and off of his Gospel, I am always tempted to look over my shoulder in trepidation trying to see if I can negotiate his approval of me.)

So friends, there is a partial preview into my mind and what I fear, and my list could go on and on. How is that for a bit of transparency?

Now, what about you? I know many of you fear …

  • photo-1508440767412-59ce0b206bbcYou might never find Mr. or Mrs. Right.
  • You might forever be stuck with Mr. or Mrs. wrong for the remainder of your days.
  • The depression or anxiety which often paralyzes you might show itself again.
  • The cancer, which is in remission, might return.
  • The children I long for might never come.
  • Someone you have wronged might never forgive.
  • The shared custody of your children with a less-than-supportive spouse.
  • The salvation of your prodigal loved-ones.
  • The lawsuit might go against you and your business.
  • The faithfulness of your spouse.
  • Financial provision for this month’s needs.

Yes, we might as well be honest. There is no need to play games with God or one another. These are days of trouble, and there are many times we have too little faith and too much fear.

What says the Psalmist?

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, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46)

How is this helpful?

Here is how I might encourage us to summarize this Psalm:

When we rightly meditate on the sovereignty and intimacy of our God, we will find ourselves fearing God and enjoying greater faith, and consequently we will find ourselves fearing everything else less.

Our God, he is so sovereign.

He is Lord of creation, Lord of the nations, and Lord of eternity. From the smallest of molecules to the mightiest of men, God does with all whatsoever he desires. He brings forth war, and he causes such to cease. With wisdom he ordains whatsoever comes to pass, and with ease he providentially works out all in accordance with his unchangeable plans. Our God, he is never surprised; he is never frustrated. All that is happening today — both good and evil — comes through his active or passive will. God thinks, and it happens. He speaks, and it comes to pass. He “utters his voice, and the earth melts.” And when all is said and done, “he will be exalted among the nations.”

For many, this is not encouraging; this is horrible news for they and God are not on good terms. They have made themselves enemies of God and are consistently seeking to rebel and prove themselves to be sovereigns. Oh, that they would come to their senses, bow the knee, repent, kiss the Son, and be blessed. (Psalm 2)  Oh, that they would do so quickly before it is too late.

Our God, he is so intimate.

But for us who are in a reconciled relationship with the Sovereign King through the merit of Jesus Christ, we get to rejoice:

  • We are the predestined ones who have our names penned in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
  • We are the chosen objects of his special affection.
  • We are the apple of his eye.
  • We are the bride he has chosen and betrothed himself to.
  • We are the sheep of his pasture; those who are never lost; no one can pluck us out of his hand.
  • We are his adopted children.
  • We are his body and his temple.
  • We are those who have received promises that can never be revoked or even altered.
  • We are the righteous, pure, and always radiant ones with whom God is well-pleased.

And in this particular Psalm, God is our “refuge and strength.” He is “very present.” The “Lord of hosts is with us.” He is “our fortress.”

Therefore, let us be still, behold, and be bold.

Let us “come and behold the works of the Lord.” Let’s think with him about his power and love. and then …

Let us “be still and know” our Sovereign Husband has his compassionate eye on us. Let’s bask in this truth and enjoy our gifted intimacy. As a man “knows” his wife, let’s realize the Lord “knows” us, and let’s “know” him in return.

And then, let us enjoy his supernatural boldness. As we are still and behold, God’s Spirit can help us “not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” This is his grace. This is his gift. This is his power working through us.

photo-1542353436-312f0e1f67ffOh friends, the The Psalmist’s confidence and boldness comes from his meditation and worship. Therefore, let us follow his example.

Today, let us cease meditating on the assault which comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let us get our eyes over the horizon.

Today, let us confess our sin of turning to false gods which always fail.

Today, let us again abandon our poor theology which doubts the power, position, and plan of God.

Today, right now, let us get our theology and thinking right, and let us experience again the reviving power of the Lord in the midst of trouble.

And when we cannot do so by ourselves …

Let us gather with brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, elders, and deacons, and assist one another in trusting our God. This is one of the fantastic benefits of the church. We exist to live in community. We exist to lift up the downhearted. We exist to stir one another up to love and good works. We are family, and we must not allow our loved ones to fall prey to the world, the flesh, and the devil. They are far too loved by Christ to be left in such a sad condition.


When we rightly meditate on the sovereignty and intimacy of our God, we will find ourselves fearing God and enjoying greater faith, and consequently we will find ourselves fearing everything else less.

 

 

 

 


Additional Scriptural Thoughts for Further Meditation:

Christians are consistently commanded to recognize rightly and “fear not.”

Christians are consistently reminded “God has not given them a spirit of fear ….” (2 Tim. 1:7)

Christians get to be glad. (Ps. 46:4)

Christians get to “rejoice in the Lord always.” (Phil 4:4)

Christians get to have “perfect peace.” (Is. 26:1)

Christians get to enjoy the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, and peace ….” (Gal. 5:22)

 

 


2 thoughts on “Let us be still, behold, and be bold!

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