I feel the weightiness of responsibility to bring a meaningful word of encouragement at this particular time. May this letter soak deeply into your heart and bring peace. I’ve chosen to share some truths from Psalm 91 (Amplified Version), that have proven very real to me in difficult times. As you meditate on this beautiful Psalm, you’ll find assurance of protection not matter what storms of life are battering and pounding your soul. You may like to read it in full in your Bible or online where many different versions can be found.
Verse 1. He/she who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty, (WHOSE POWER NO FOE CAN WITHSTAND).
This is a promise from Almighty God!
If we will dwell/remain/abide with our focus not on our concerns and vulnerabilities, but on HIS strength and ability in our weakness, we shall remain STABLE, (not blown around by every squall) but FIXED/immoveable/unshakeable/undeterred in the face of adversity.
‘Under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose POWER, no foe can withstand)’. Imagine that! Having an immoveable Ally, a fierce Protector Who goes into bat on your behalf as the challenges come thick and fast. No foe! Nothing! Can stand against Almighty God! You might be facing bills and commitments that are impossible to meet in the current drought situation but as you face one day at a time, asking Him for help, face the day with confidence instead of dread, with an expectancy that He Will help you. I’ve found an important key is to face up, not run from adversity. His grace will give you the courage needed on any day in any situation. NOTHING is too difficult for Him! Make that call you’ve been dreading! Its better to know where you stand than worry about a ‘worst case scenario’ that might never happen! Pray that God go before you and ‘make a way where there seems no way’.
Verse 2. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God. On Him I lean, rely upon and confidently trust’. You might try speaking this Scripture OUT LOUD and BELIEVING IT in your heart. This simple act of faith will bring peace. Ponder on how it would feel if you dared to rely upon Him in confident trust!
Verse 3. ‘He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler AND deadly pestilence’. He promises to rescue/disentangle you from EVERY trap set against you that would limit and confine you, that would seek to render you powerless and try to snuff out your hope and your destiny on this earth!
Verse 4. ‘He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge’. What a relief! God promises you a safe haven of protection at those moments when you just need to rest a while, catch your breath and refocus.
His Truth and His faithfulness are a shield and buckler. This Truth is found in the Holy Bible, ‘God’s Handbook for life’. The answers to all of life’s perplexing issues can be found there and can be relied upon to bring hope and settled assurance that you are protected.
For the sake of space in this letter I will paraphrase some wonderful excerpts but exhort you to take the time to read Psalm 91 for yourself. Many different translations can be found online and each one imparts something fresh to me.
Verse 11. “He will give His angels ESPECIAL CHARGE over you to accompany, defend and preserve you in all your ways (of obedience and service)’. I passionately believe there are angels on assignment around each one of us. Most of us could recall incidents where we had a miraculous escape from a life-threatening situation. I was driving from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in heavy traffic when a massive retread came off a truck to my left, bounced clean over my car and landed in the right lane. In that split second I know that Someone far greater than I maneuvered my car between these obstacles with centimeters to spare. Those angels had been given ESPECIAL CHARGE over me that day.
I was speaking to a close friend recently who recounted how an aggressive taipan snake had 3 or 4 strikes at him. He was incapacitated at the time and unable to move quickly. Not one strike connected! He rang to say that he KNEW THAT HE KNEW Almighty God and no other and His angels on assignment had protected him that day.
You might be one reading this who has experienced this kind of protection. You can recall situations that could have taken your life but somehow, against all odds, you lived to see another day. Some of you KNOW God has been knocking on the door of your heart many times, entreating you with His great love and mercy to surrender your ways and begin to walk in His ways. You may have been ‘stiff necked’ and resistant – stubbornly refusing to respond and reaped the consequences of your own foolishness. You may feel life has crashed around you as you have ignored that ‘stilll small voice’ within that says, ‘Come to me all who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest’. You may believe the untruth that it’s too late for you! Friend, it is never too late! There is a better way. That ‘better way’ is surrendering our hearts to Jesus Christ with a simple heart felt prayer. ‘Lord Jesus, come into my heart this day, please forgive everything I’ve ever done that’s been wrong, wash me clean, teach me, lead me, guide me into the knowledge of the timeless truths in Your Holy Word. I give You permission to shape and fashion me into a vessel who no longer lives for self, but one who carries the fragrance of Jesus’ love, grace mercy and Truth to a hurting world.
In surrendering my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I lost NOTHING of value. He exchanged anxiety and worry for peace and joy, unforgiveness and bitterness for compassion, mercy and grace and a healed heart and mind. He took my life sapping habits and replaced them with a wholeness that needed no sedation to get by. He took my confusion and gave me clarity of mind. What a wonderful deal! He took the garbage and gave me good stuff in return.
As you read and reread this letter, and daily read this little booklet, I pray it flood your heart and mind with peace, hope, comfort and wisdom. I pray that the way to go will become clearer and your path less difficult.
May God bless you and keep you, strengthen you and uphold you with HIS re-assurance in the life challenges you are facing. Above all, may you come to know the reality of His personal love for you.
(Pastor Liz Howland)