“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
— Psalm 91:1
What is your greatest fear, the one thing above all others that makes your eyes widen and your heart race? Some fear death the most. Others fear public speaking even more than death. And still others fear dental exams. Newspaper counselor Ann Landers reports receiving about ten thousand letters each month from people with all kinds of issues that can be reduced to one common problem: fear.
When our faith in Christ disappears, fear takes its place. The Bible says that in the Last Days people’s hearts shall fail them for fear. Shakespeare puts it this way: “Cowards die many times before their death; the valiant never taste of death but once.” The Bible exhorts us to courage, saying, “Fear not,” “Be not afraid,” “Be of good cheer,” “Be courageous and very strong.” This is not advice; it is a commandment.
If you find yourself feeling fearful, Psalm 91 can help you ward off your fear. This psalm was the invocation of the early Church during a time when the disciples suffered great trouble and persecution. Many a young person has gone off to war leaning heavily on its promises. Psalm 91 promises to protect those who “dwell” in God’s presence. Someone once said that there are two kinds of people: those who dwell in God and occasionally visit the world, and those who dwell in the world and occasionally visit God. When we dwell too long in the world, fear can overcome us. To experience God’s strength and peace, we must abide in Him.
The secret dwelling place of God is His Word. In His Word, God reveals the wonders of His grace and love. Dwelling with God means hiding His Word in our hearts by memorizing it and meditating on it. We also dwell with God when we commune with Him in prayer and seek His purpose in our lives.
Do you often live in fear? If so, begin now the practice of abiding in God’s presence. Read His Word, and spend time with Him in prayer. Draw near to Him, and He will grant you His courage.