Whom Shall I Fear?
Franklin Graham tells the story about a little girl he saw in Rwanda, after that country's civil war a few years ago. She was a refugee who had just witnessed the murder of her entire family, and she was sitting in the back of a truck, clutching a blanket and singing. He asked one of the soldiers what she was saying, and the soldier translated it: "Jesus loves me, this I know..." She had just lost everyone and everything that she knew, and she was singing praise to God!
Not many of us face such horrific circumstances in our lives, and that's by the mercy of God. But we all face battles where we are tempted to doubt the goodness or the power of God. This is part of spiritual warfare. Paul puts it this way: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).
The faithful Christian understands that there is an intense battle going on at all times. There are enemies all around, and hell doesn't give you a standing ovation when you commit your life to Christ. Jesus Himself knew warfare — His earthly ministry began with 40 days of warfare with Satan in the wilderness, and it ended in Gethsemane, with Jesus sweating great drops of blood, before the last great battle on the cross.
As Christians, we are not exempt from suffering. It may come in the form of sickness or loss of a job, or through the terrible events like the little Rwandan girl experienced. Suffering intensifies spiritual warfare and the fear that may make us doubt the grace and the mercy of God.
Yet, we should not fear. Psalm 27 is a song of confidence in the Lord. It was written during the time when David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Listen to what David says: "Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident... For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock" (v. 3, 5).
I encourage you to spend some time with this Psalm. Read it. Meditate on the truths it expresses. God knows and understands the battles you face. He knows, and He cares. Even if you are forsaken by everyone and everything else, the Lord will take care of you (see v. 10).
Whatever the challenges, whatever the battles, we can all say, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (v. 1).