How can we face the fog of our uneasy, uncertain future? All these terrifying events are happening—political unrest, terrorist threats and attacks, a struggling economy. What more can the future hold?
Verse 10 of Psalm 46 answers that. We will not worry. The text says, “cease striving…” The Hebrew simply uses one term in that command, and it means, “Stop!” What a great directive! STOP!
I heard a mother say that to one of her children in the grocery store just yesterday. The child was busy, busy, busy. Getting into this, messing with that. “Stop!” When I heard her, I stopped!
But it’s the Lord who is speaking at this moment. “Stop! Stop it! Stop that worrying. Quit it! I am your refuge. I am your very present help in time of trouble. Your worry implies that I’m not here anymore. But I never left. I’m not like the swallows that leave in the winter, to return only when the weather is fair.”
Now you see why Psalm 46 speaks with such relevance. In times of physical catastrophe, since God is our refuge, we will not fear. At the threat of warfare, since God is our refuge, we will not be moved. With a future that seems uncertain, we will not worry. We’ll remember He brings an end to wars. War is nothing new to Him. Chariots, spears, arrows have a way of making us churn within. But, stop! We will not worry.
I was reminded this past week that back in the days of the Revolutionary War it wasn’t uncommon for pastors to preach sermons that prepared congregations for battle, I mean literal battle. There was a war going on, and sermons were delivered to bring courage. Those sermons came to be known as “artillery sermons.” Isn’t that a good name? When a pastor preached with passion, you could almost hear the report of the artillery: Kavoomm! Kavoomm! Pastor’s launching another artillery sermon today—Kavoomm! I love that!
Artillery sermons were preached by stout-hearted, unintimidated pastors, who also served as leaders of the local militia. Artillery was viewed back then as the first-strike weapon, out in front of the infantry attack. They were designed to weaken the enemy’s defence for the assault. In a similar way, artillery sermons were delivered to stir hearts, preparing people for battle. God’s Word became the ammunition to weaken the enemy’s position and to strengthen the Christian for literal as well as spiritual warfare in the days yet future.
If it would help you to think of this devotional in that way, consider this to be one of those Kavoomm messages. This is an artillery message, because some of you who read these words have been afraid. No doubt, you have been moved over some recent national or international event. You may be depressed and worried about the future, because you haven’t been equipped with proper ammunition. But, in fact, no human or group is able to destroy or defend against the truth of God.
If the foundations are in place, if we have the Lord God as our refuge and strength, the righteous do not fear, are not moved, and cannot worry.
Excerpted from Why God? Calming Words for Chaotic Times, Copyright 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by Permission.
About the Author:
Chuck Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word. Active as the senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Texas, Chuck’s trademark humour, integrity, and authenticity have made him one of this century’s most beloved and trusted preachers. His international radio program Insight for Living has aired for more than 35 years. Want Chuck Swindoll’s insights delivered to your inbox seven days a week? Claim your free subscription to Insight for Today.