If we are truly honest with ourselves, we are often afraid. We are afraid of losing things, people, and control. We are afraid of the future, and we are afraid of the past. Thankfully, we do not have to muster the strength to master our fear. We can submit to Jesus as Master and trust in His strength instead.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
I may put on a brave face, but I am often afraid. This surprises my kiddos, at least for a few more years. It boggles their mind that Daddy is afraid of anything because – to them – I am a source of strength. They look to me and Candice whenever they are afraid, and they expect us to be able to fix everything. Honestly, I am probably more afraid of them realizing that I am not as strong or smart or cool than I am of a lot of things.
The good news of the gospel is that my kids do not need me to take away their fear. They need me to invest the gospel in their lives. They need the Savior spoken of in the gospel to take away their sin and make them His own. Jesus is a much better Savior than me. He is much better at calming fears, too.
The Almighty, Sovereign, Holy God of the Universe is our “refuge and strength”. And He has a plan for us. All we have to do is trust Him.
And that’s what we’re singing about this week: trusting that Emmanuel (God with us) has made a way for us through His death and resurrection. May we lift up our hearts to the Great I Am and trust that, if He can conquer death, hell, and the grave, our fears pale in comparison to His glory, majesty, strength, and holiness.
These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:
- Psalm 46 – I want us to read the whole psalm together, but I will pick out a few verses for us to peruse today.
- v 1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- vv. 6-7 – The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
- v. 10 – “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
- Revelation 17:14 – They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
Our Resurrected King has won the victory. And He loves us and is always with us.
Here are our songs:
- “Here Again” – This is a new song for us that we introduced last week. It reminds us of how much we need and should long for the presence of the Lord. It’s an especially sweet time for us being able to begin gathering – with precautions, but, as sweet as our being together is, we’re nothing if He is not in our midst. I love the refrain: “I’m not enough unless you come. Will you meet me here again?” Let that be our prayer that God will meet with His people as we worship Him!
- “Great I Am” – This song always gets me fired up! It reminds us that God is I Am – the same God from all of the Bible. The “mountains shake before” His presence. There is nothing – “no power in hell or any who can stand” – before His awesome presence. And yet He wants to be with us. Such marvelous truths that we are blessed to sing: “Hallelujah! Holy, holy! God Almighty! The great I Am!”
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Psalm 73:28, Philippians 3:20, 1 Corinthians 15:54-56, Revelation 5:9-13, Psalm 113:1, Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8, 1 Samuel 2:2, Revelation 5:4-6, Revelation 15:3, Revelation 11:17, Exodus 3:14, John 8:58, Psalm 145:18, 1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:13-18, Proverbs 8:13, Psalm 119:63, Ezekiel 37:1-14, Isaiah 64:1, James 2:19, Luke 8:31-33, Luke 10:17, Psalm 76:7
- “Praise the King” – This song is fairly new to us as well. We introduced this before Easter and have sung it a couple of times since. This song reminds us that Jesus is alive. Our resurrected King is the reason that we have hope. He is the reason we are free to worship Him without fear. He is risen. He is alive. And the world has not been the same since He rose from the grave. This gives His bride a reminder that He’s the reason we sing.
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Galatians 3:13, Isaiah 9:2, John 1:4-5, Romans 5:9-11, Matthew 28:6, Romans 8:37, 1 Peter 1:3, Mark 16:6, Psalm 47:6, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, 1 Corinthians 15:50-57, Revelation 5:9-10, Romans 6:5-10, 1 Corinthians 15:12-14, Romans 8:11, 2 Corinthians 5:17
- “King of Kings” – This song tells the entire story of the gospel, from Christ’s birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection. This “gospel truth of old”, as the song calls it, is reason to praise God in all His triune majesty. It reminds us that we were once “without hope, without light” and that Christ came to “reconcile” and “redeem” us. It also gives the Church a reminder that we are bought “by His blood and in His name” and that we have freedom through His resurrection. We are no longer dead in our sin! We are born again! That’s good news!
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Proverbs 4:19, John 3:19-21, Ephesians 2:1, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 5:17, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:31, Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 2:7, Psalm 3:3, Psalm 8:1, John 1:14, Psalm 136:3, Matthew 28:18, Revelation 19:16, Matthew 13:24-52, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Isaiah 53, John 3:16, Romans 5:6-10, Galatians 3:13, Colossians 2:14, Titus 2:14, Acts 4:33, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Matthew 27:52-53, Luke 15:7, Acts 2:1-4, Matthew 24:35, Ephesians 1:7, Galatians 5:1, Galatians 2:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:11
- “O Come to the Altar” – This song reminds us of the opportunity we have to bow before the Lord, repent of our sins, and find peace and rest in His arms. It reminds us that “forgiveness is bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ”. There is nothing magical about the “altar” in a church. But there is something singularly wonderful about knowing that “the Father’s arms are open wide”, ready to accept us when we turn from our sin and to Him. Amen.
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Matthew 11:28-30, John 10:3, John 4:7-38, Revelation 3:20, Hebrews 13:10-14, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9, Isaiah 53:5, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:22, Luke 9:62, Philippians 4:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 2:13-14, Matthew 21:9, Revelation 17:14, Luke 9:23, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, Matthew 28:16-20