The phone rang early this morning. It was my daughter informing me that there had been multiple explosions in London’s transport system today. I immediately experienced fear. My husband is in England. He is speaking at a leaders’ conference in Brighton.
My first thoughts were: How close is Brighton to London? Did CJ have plans to go to London today? Maybe the reason I haven’t heard from him is because something is wrong! I tried calling him, but got no answer.
Then I remembered Psalm 37:23—one of today’s take-away verses for meditation from my morning devotions. It reads: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” I had also read Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on this verse, which said: “All [of the Christian’s] course of life is graciously ordained, and in lovingkindness all is fixed. No fickle chance rules us; every step is the subject of divine decree.”
I may not have been able to talk to C.J, but this much I knew: God’s lovingkindness was ordering his steps. How kind of God to give me that promise this morning! It brought instant comfort to my soul.
And C.J. did call. He is safe. I am grateful to God for his loving protection.
However, he said that our friends in the United Kingdom are in need of our prayers. Please pray for safety and peace for all, and for wisdom for the local church pastors, particularly in London. And please join me in asking God to use this tragedy for His glory, the good of His people, and the spread of the gospel.
On Saturday, I had breakfast with two of my close friends. While sipping our hot drinks and eating our bagels, the conversation turned to the struggles we have at times with fear—fear about our children, fear about our blindness to sin, fear about our future….
But that is not how the conversation ended.
We went from confessing our fears to talking about our need to trust God more. Our need to exercise faith. We reminded each other of God’s great faithfulness toward us.
Because fear is not neutral. Fear is sin. And we must fight our fears with faith in God’s character and His precious promises—promises that flow from Christ’s work on the cross.
Here are Biblical promises that impart faith for my fears (along with commentary by Charles Spurgeon):
“The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.” Psalm 102:28
“[This verse] is full of good cheer to us; we may plead for the Lord’s favor to our offspring…. God does not neglect the children of his servants…Grace is not hereditary, yet God loves to be served by the same family time out of mind…. We may, therefore, not only for our own sakes but also out of love to the church of God, daily pray that our sons and daughters may be saved, and kept by divine grace even unto the end—established before the Lord.”
Charles Spurgeon, Psalms , Series editors, Alister McGrath and J.I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), p. 70.
My blindness to sin:
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” Psalm 51:6
“God is teaching [the repentant Christian] truth concerning his nature, which he had not before perceived. The love of the heart, the mystery of its fall, and the way of its purification – this hidden wisdom we must all attain; and it is a great blessing to be able to believe that the Lord will ‘make us know it.’”
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6
“These twin guardian angels will always be with me. Just as when great princes go abroad and must not go unattended, so it is with the believer. Goodness and mercy follow him always – the black days as well as the bright days. Goodness supplies our needs, and mercy blots out our sins.”
Are you tempted to fear today? God has provided numerous promises in His Word. Find a specific promise from which you can derive faith and banish fear.
Here is a promise to get you started:
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“God makes a perfect work of it. He clears away both our fears and their causes, all of them without exception.”
Previous three quotes taken from Charles Spurgeon, Psalms , Series editors, Alister McGrath and J.I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), p.211-212, 91, 132.