The world is shaken, taken off guard and turned upside down by a microscopic virus that doubles the number of its victims every six days. It began only three months ago, but has now infected over 152,000, with the number rising every day. As a result, many people wonder if there is any place on earth that is truly safe. The answer is both yes and no.
No, there is no place on this earth that is completely safe. We live in a fallen world that is under God’s curse, because of man’s original sin in the Garden of Eden. As a result, danger can lurk anywhere, at any time. There is no place on this planet where we are 100% safe.
But the answer is also Yes. Yes, there is a safe place…for those who place their faith and hope in God, through repentant faith in Jesus Christ. That safe place is in the arms of the Savior, and under the care of the sovereign, almighty God.
Daily reports from every city, county, and nation tracking the spread of the virus are similar to satellites that track weather systems as they move across the globe. These satellites provide advance warning of impending weather, changes in temperature, and alert us to possible dangers. And knowing the future in this way provides us with a bit of comfort, doesn’t it? It helps us to plan ahead, to avoid discomfort and danger.
But knowing that danger is coming toward us can also produce the opposite. It can breed discomfort, anxiety, and even crippling fear of impending doom, for some. But the spread of a virus is different than a storm front that is moving in. Storm clouds can be seen ahead of time. A virus that is invisible to the naked eye cannot be seen until it has caused an infection.
So all of this reminds us that life is precarious. There is much we do not know about the future. But for those who trust in the Lord there is a place of peace and safety, because we embrace the biblical truth that God is sovereign over all.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.Psalm 103:19
At all times, but especially in times of crisis, we need to feed upon the Word of God so that we have a rock-solid foundation upon which to build our lives.
The writer of an old hymn writes, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!” These words complement those of the apostle Peter who assures us that “we have the prophetic word made more sure” than the most dramatic spiritual experience (2 Peter 1:19). There is no time in our lives, as believers, when this secure base of biblical truth is more necessary than when we face times of great uncertainty or the fear of death.
Psalm 46 offers us a foundation for trusting God in times of crisis. The primary emphasis of this psalm is not on trying to guess when and where storms will come, but to always realize that God is our only true, safe place.
The emphasis is on knowing the God who is the source of protection and rest in the midst of the storms. God rarely indicates when a storm is coming. But he does provide protection and comfort in the storm. We must learn to “hide” in God, finding our strength, our peace, and our rest in Him. The psalmist writes: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
God wants our trust in Him to grow as we consider and respond to three stabilizing encouragements. In times of crisis we need to…
- Trust God as our unshakable refuge in trouble (vv. 1-3).
- Trust God as our undying river of life (vv. 4-7).
- Trust God as our unbeatable ruler over all (vv. 8-11).
Often, we wish God would provide advance warning of the storms of life. But God typically does not warn us ahead of time. Though he does not hide the truth that we will face troubles, hardships, and difficulties in this life, in a general sense (John 16:33; 1 Peter 4:12), he does not reveal the particulars of our suffering. If He did, we would likely be inclined to walk by sight rather than by faith. We would try to control our own lives, avoiding the pain, rather than learning to trust him and his goodness, his promise.
Above all else, we must learn that He is in control. And when the fierce storms of life come, we must not be ashamed to run and hide in God. Rest assured that His grip on you is stronger than your grip on Him. Run and hide in God as your refuge and strength, your ever-present help in times of trouble.
***Also consider working through the 31-day devotional, ANXIETY: Knowing God’s Peace.