Psalm 91 is my favourite ‘go-to’ psalm when I need to pray for protection and comfort for those I love and for myself. Its author builds his declaration of God’s sure protection over his people on a firm foundation of relationship and faith.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
When we approach life from the place of remaining snugly planted under God’s sheltering wings, we can rest in the assurance that God carries us through even the most difficult of life’s challenges. When we base our faith solely on God’s faithfulness and never-changing character, we cannot be shaken.
However, when our faith depends on the behaviour and ‘walk’ of those around us, God will allow our faith to be shaken. He allows no idols, even if these idols might appear innocent on the surface. If your faith is built on the teachings of a favourite theologian, if your picture of God’s character is based solely on the example of a beloved pastor, if you can only be drawn into worship through a certain style of music or a certain recording artist, you will be shaken.
Through personal experience, I know the pain and struggle a congregation faces upon learning that their pastor has fallen into sin. Not once but twice, I was victimized by believers who chose to sacrifice their integrity to the ‘god’ of prestige. When rumours surfaced that an acquaintance who happened to be a prominent Christian recording artist had an affair, I stoutly defended him. When he finally confessed his sin. I prayed for him as he was slowly restored to ministry over several years. Most recently, a Christian author who influenced me greatly in my early years as a believer admitted that he had indeed abused his position of trust with vulnerable young people even as he wrote of the love of God.
God has remained faithful and His character has not changed in the midst of these betrayals. Although I am far from perfect, somehow I clung to his truth and he carried me through. Yet, at the same time, I have watched as many of my friends fell to the wayside as their Christian heroes fell before them. Why did I remain relatively unshaken? I don’t have all the answers because I know I often failed Him in my response to the these betrayals. Yet, he never failed me. Perhaps, I was resting under his wings more than I actually knew.
Psalm 91 promises us that if we rest in the shadow of the most High, even though the mighty around us fall, we do not have to fall as a result. His wings will protect us, what caused them to stumble will not cause us to stumble.
“Psalm 91:7 “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.”
Psalm 62: 1-2 “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
Until next week,
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