Reading Psalm 91 this week, I have been comforted by the reminders of the qualities of God’s nature that bless those who believe & are faithful in Him. It is a great comfort to know that in my times of need, in all the spiritual darkness and danger and weight of this world, the Lord will always be my refuge; as verse 2 says, “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” I feel grateful to know He will:
– protect us & deliver us from destruction
– answer our pleas for help
– be with us through troubles & trials
– rescue us from evil
– honor our faith in Him
– truly satisfy us
– lead us to salvation
I am further glad this passage does not tell us life is without trial for the faithful; I think of James 1, counting it joyful to find trials in faith to steadfastly receive the crown of life. We know in our lives, we’re not exempt from disease, pain, heartache, emotional upheaval, even death; but we know we do not need to fear these things, because the Lord offers spiritual richness, deliverance from evil, joy, hope, peace, and life everlasting, far greater and more powerful than fear or worry or anxiety about our own situations.
I reflect on Psalm 91:1; “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Not he who has dwelled, or will dwell; but he who dwells, actively living and being in the Lord’s presence. You can’t live in sin and still live within the Lord’s presence: I think of Romans 8:7: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” All these wonderful, comforting qualities of the Lord: in my own struggles, am I still actively seeking the Lord’s presence and living in Him, or am I living disobediently, hostile to God? We all have things inside us we are grappling with in our lives right now; being honest with yourself, what are yours? For me, anxiety and depression are daily difficulties. So I ask myself: is my love of the Lord and thankfulness of His honoring my faithfulness being held back & kept from being properly expressed by these worries & negative feelings? Do your conflicts – inner and outer – get in the way of your dwelling with the Lord, or are you using these conflicts as a measure to express joy and display your strength found in the Lord? Whatever this conflict looks like in your life, I pray that you too would recognize how you can more firmly live within all blessings of the Lord’s presence.