Finding Stability In The Midst Of Calamity
Intro: As a new pastor of the first church I served at, I remember our services right after the 911 attacks in 2001. For a very short time we were just like all other churches in that we saw our numbers swell. The number 1 factor that led to our churches being filled was a result of fear. People were calling me and asking is this end of the world. Fear and panic sat in the driver’s seat and drove many people to our church services. However, it was short lived b/c it was the wrong kind of fear. Rather than fearing God, people were fearful of dying and the circumstances surrounding their lives. To fear God means to know that He is the One that is in control of all things. He is the One that has the final say regarding your life and mine.
* I am one of those who believe that death can’t touch you until God has finished His work through you here on this earth.
* One of the differences between the fear that struck during the 911 attacks and the fear that has struck today through the coronavirus is that we could not see where the enemy would strike next during the 911 attacks. The fear we are experiencing today has a different face. We can get on the computer and track where it is and how fast it is moving, as well as how many people have died from it. As those numbers continue to climb, fear continues to climb. Today we are faced with many decisions on how we can better protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. We are facing decisions on how we can protect our church family and be of help in slowing down this dreadful disease. However, in such a time as this, let us be reminded that God is still in control and will always be in control. Even though our worship services may be affected during these days, this my friend is no time for the church to vacillate. We still need to sound the alarm, whether it be from live streaming or drive-in church, or whatever means, people need to know that Jesus is the answer to everything!
In the Old Testament, cities were often surrounded by a wall. On top of the wall was a watchtower where a watchman would stand his post. The watchman had only one responsibility; to sound the alarm when he saw danger approaching. His job was not to come down from the wall to open or close the city gates. His job was to warn the people when he saw the enemy approaching. All plans were already put into place in case the watchman sounded the alarm. However, when the watchman on the wall actually sounded the alarm, often times their plans turned into pandemonium. The best way for civilians to be protected was to stay within the walls of the city. To run astray led to failure in trusting God’s protection, promises, and provision.
* Dealing with a visible marching army is always easier than dealing with an invisible approaching enemy like the coronavirus. With the marching army the watchman would sound the alarm and the city would respond by taking up their weapons and their positions. When the invading enemy comes through a plague or disease the same procedures will not work, but the same principles will. Let’s look at those principles today so that we might find stability in the midst of this calamity!
The Psalmist testifies there is:
I.) A Trust that Outweighs My Trials (v.1-4)
There can be no doubt we are facing a huge trial in our lives today. Many are wondering how this will affect them physically. Will I contract this disease? If so, will I die from this disease? Many are wondering how this will affect them financially. Will our economy go belly-up? At times like this many will be affected spiritually. Is there life after death? Where will I spend eternity when I die? For the child of God I am thankful that there is a trust that outweighs my trials!
a.) The Source of My Trust (v.1-2)
* In these 2 verses the psalmist tells us who is the source of our trust! 4 names of God are mentioned in these 2 verses!
** “most High” = Elyon = The Most High
Elyon means that God is not only the strong One, but He is higher than anybody and anything on Earth. It is first used in Genesis 14:18-20 that describes God as the possessor of Heaven and Earth!
** “Almighty” = Shaddai = He is the all-sufficient God and He can handle any situation, any enemy, and any and every disease!
** “Lord” = Jehovah = He is the covenant making God that is faithful to all His promises/ “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…”
** “God” = Elohim = God of Creation/ God spoke and creation appeared and if He so chooses He can speak and the coronavirus will have to disappear.
b.) The Surety of My Trust (v.3-4) The Surety of my trust lies in the fact that He is the source of my trust!
* He shall deliver you
* He shall cover you
* He will equip you / There is not even a hint of hesitation in the Psalmist’s voice b/c unlike like Farmer’s Insurance he has the Father’s Assurance. “He Knows a thing or two b/c he’s seen a thing or two.”
II.) A Faith That Overcomes My Fear (v. 5-10)
* I am just like everyone else in that there is an apprehension and uneasiness when I look at this horrible disease that is spreading across this world.
* Notice that the psalmist says:
a.) Fear is real – It was real for Israel as they saw the firstborn of every Egyptian household die in Egypt. It was real when they saw all the Egyptian soldiers die at the Red Sea.
* Fear can shake us all, Christian or not! That’s why the Psalmist said in Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”
b.) Faith that is Ready – “thou hast made” “thy habitation”
III.) A Deliverer That Overrules My Dilemma (v.11-16)
* We are in a dilemma today; but deliverance is coming!
* How do you know preacher?
a.) He has set His love (v.14) There is nothing more comforting than knowing this day that God, who possesses Heaven and earth, who is the all-sufficient One, who is the covenant making God that will never leave me nor forsake me, who is the creator and sustainer of this world has set his love upon me as His child!
* Paul said “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)
b.) He satisfies my Life (v.16) Someone once said that a doctor may add years to our lives, but only God can add life to our years!
* Do you have this life that He offers today? Why Not trust Him now?