We have learned since childhood about the blessings of being protected. Remember when we were in the arms of mom or dad, it seemed the dangers of the world could not reach us. Now that we are grown, we appreciate our home, which gives us shelter from the elements and provides us security against whatever that might want to harm us.
But of all the things in this world that can provide a sense of safety and defense, there is nothing that can compare to the power and authority of God. Psalm 23:4 helps us to see there is no need to be afraid. "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." The rod and staff are reminders that we are his sheep and Jesus is our great shepherd. He is carefully watching over his people and wants us to stay close to him.
The other night I had difficulty sleeping, and as I tossed and turned, all types of harassing thoughts were bombarding me and trying to interfere with my peace. I began to pray and ask God to help me and was reminded that in the Bible God is referred to as a shield. This brought me great comfort as I began to visualize being completely surrounded by this huge strong shield, and I began to envision the arrows of the enemy harmlessly bouncing away.
The next thing I knew it was morning. As I went downstairs and started on my first cup of coffee, I was still thinking about the shield and went into my office to look up the definition. A shield means a guard to defend and protect, to cover as a barrier, a place of shelter and security to hide behind and a way to preserve and maintain our safety. Becoming aware of this promise gives us peace even when fear and confusion is raging all around us. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," says Matthew 11:28.
In this chaotic world in which we live, it's refreshing and encouraging to trust that God is always there for us, but if we allow ourselves to become engulfed with an overload of negative information, we can become anxious and worried to the point of exhaustion. We do not always make the right choices to spend time with him, but just to understand that he loves us and listens to our concerns is such a wonderful encouragement. When the storms of life are raging and we are drowning in a sea of worry and doubt, we can trust him and run into his presence.
There is a story recorded in Matthew 8 about Jesus going across a lake in a boat with disciples. While he took a nap, there arose a violent storm, and his friends were terrified that that boat was going to sink. They awoke him, and he calmly spoke to the wind and waves to stop, and suddenly it was perfectly calm. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and still has the power and desire to command "peace be still" to your storms today. "Our soul waits for the Lord: He is our help and our shield," Psalm 33:20.
Salvation is usually considered in the sense of being born-again into a brand new spiritual creation, but this covenant is not just limited to saving our spirit. Christ gives us total salvation, which includes ministering to our body, mind and emotions. He is concerned and ready to help us in any area we might need.
If we notice the definitions of salvation, we can see that Jesus is actively engaged to help, heal, restore, preserve, protect, rescue, provide a way of escape and deliver us from any type of harm or danger. He is a strong and mighty tower, and if we choose to dwell in the secret place of the most high, we are at peace under the shadow of the Almighty.
Whatever you are going through today, remember that God can do anything, he is our refuge and our shield of security that never fails. "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him," Psalm 28:7.
The Rev. William F. Holland Jr. is a minister and chaplain based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. To read more visit billyhollandministries.com.