Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV)
An uninvited guest moved into my home immediately after my husband passed away. No matter where I turned, he was there. And he never slept.
I would wake up to his repeated taunts and whispers. With every attack my heart would race in my chest as if I had just run a marathon. “Who’s going to be next?” he would taunt. “Someone else is going to die; who do you think it is?” he would challenge and then fade into the background, leaving me with a choking panic in my throat.
One morning a daily phone call to a close friend was not answered. From out of nowhere a voice spoke a lie to my heart. “She’s dead. She was the next one.” And for an instant, I almost believed him.
The name of my uninvited guest? Satan, the evil liar. He did every thing he could to move into my home – and my heart – with his baggage of deception and deceit. His purpose was to drain my joy and my hope and to shake my very foundation and belief and trust in Jesus.
In my defense, within about a 5 month time period, I had lost my brother-in-law, who was more like a brother; my sister who was my best friend and two weeks after that, my husband.
I cannot begin to describe the deep heartache and grief that filled every second of my days and nights. I held on to the Lord with every ounce of strength I had but there were many days when simply breathing became an accomplishment.
The entire book of Psalms became my place of refuge – my hiding place. I literally ran to my Bible and held it closely as I read one Scripture after another in which David talked about holding on to God with everything He had. Why?
Because even David had days when he was lonely and defeated and heartbroken and beaten up spiritually. And yes, when he was afraid. David the warrior was afraid.
Psalm 46:1-2 became a minute by minute encouragement to me. David wrote “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.”
That was exactly how I felt: everything beneath my feet had broken apart and I was in free fall with no rope for security.
If you have not experienced the suddenness of loss – either of a loved one or a job or something secure in your life – you will. Jesus tells us that we will have problems in this world (John 16:33) but the great news is that He has already overcome every single heartache that we will face.
Because Jesus held on to me and spoke truth, my uninvited guest was kicked from my home and my heart and replaced with the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Satan still tries to sneak back in every so often. But I no longer live in fear. I live in faith.
Father, thank you for being my strength when I have none and for always being by my side. I choose to listen to your voice. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Can you think of an experience when fear took over every part of your life and you found yourself struggling?
There are 150 chapters in the book of Psalms. Read 5 per day for one month.
Underline or highlight those parts that specifically speak to your heart.
Memorize today’s Scripture and praise the Lord for His presence by your side, no matter what you face in life. He is faithful.
Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV) “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.”
Psalm 27:1 (NIV) “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?”
Psalm 34:4 (NIV) “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 16:8 (NIV) “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Psalm 23:4 (NIV) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog, Encouragement From the War Room.)