The whole world is being shaken! And followers of Jesus around the world are experiencing one common issue: FEAR is taking hold.
- USGS reports 47 earthquakes (greater than Magnitude 2.5) around the world on one day, Tuesday, 2/26/2012;
- Tsunamis and hurricanes/typhoons ravaging countries;
- Arab regimes are falling in many Middle Eastern countries. Most are being replaced by radical leadership seeking to impose Shariah Law and anti-Israeli sentiment, while destabilizing relations with Western democracies;
- Pressure from all over the world against Israel; to divide Jerusalem; to give Samaria and Judea to the Palestinians; to exercise restraint and allow the Iranian-backed forces to continue their relentless rocket barrages, killing people and destroying properties in Israel;
- Economic turmoil in the European Union; Greece bailout causing riots and potentially threatening the stability of all Western banking systems;
- US government in a stalemate over increasing debt limit, balance of trade, unemployment, and the radical environmentalism that threatens to shut down many industries and force greater energy dependence on countries vowing to destroy all “infidels.”
- In two millennia of Christian history, about 70 million faithful have given their lives for the faith, and of these, 45.5 million — fully 65% — were in the last century, according to Italian journalist Antonio Socci, in “The New Persecuted” (“I Nuovi Perseguitati”). There are over 170,000 Christian martyrs each year.
When troubling times come the enemy rushes in like a flood. In Scripture it is defined as a flood of fear that smashes in, wave upon wave.
“The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves”. (Psalm 93:3)
But God has an answer:
“Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea–the LORD on high is mighty. Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD”. (Psalm 93:4-5)
God’s greatness overrides even our biggest trial. David grabbed hold of this:
“Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me”. (Psalm 69:15-16)
In fact, no one in Scripture extols the greatness of God more than David. He built up his own faith on his ever-increasing knowledge of God’s greatness. Listen with your heart to these proclamations in the Psalms from David and others:
“Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours . . . For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God”. (Psalm 86:8,10)
“Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you”. (Psalm 66:3)
“Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?” (Psalm 77:13)
According to David all our fears subside in the knowledge (full understanding and acceptance) of God’s greatness. Consider this:
- God’s wonder-working power:
“For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him”. (Psalm 95:3-4)
“ . . . to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. who made the great lights–His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:4-9)
Astronomers tell us there are 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the Universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars.
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name”. (Psalm 147:4)
- God’s power to heal us:
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. (Psalm 147:3)
“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases”. (Psalm 103:2-3)
- God’s greatness of power over any flood:
God is Sovereign; He alone is in control.
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. . . . Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me”. (Psalm 69:1-3,16)
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” (Isaiah 43:2-3a)
- God’s greatness in blessing those who trust Him:
“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues”. (Psalm 31:19-20)
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living”. (Psalm 27:13)
God’s goodness and rewards aren’t stored up for someday in heaven. They are meant for His people now in their present trials.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. (Ephesians 3:20)
Why then do we fear?
“But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel”. (Psalm 106:13)
Remember God’s Word. Remember the times He has pulled you from the fire, from the flood, from the hands of those who would hurt or destroy you. Remember the times He has and is blessing you. Trust Him! Trust Him! Trust Him!
Remember and rejoice in the Greatness of our God!
(Portions of this are from a sermon of the late David Wilkerson at the Times Square Church, New York City)