I think it right to say that we live in a world full of insecurities; we only have to read the newspaper or turn on the TV and see the news to realise the truth of that. There’s plenty of bad news out there to make us feel insecure.
Many of us have faced, and are facing, events in our lives that have turned our world upside down. When this has happened, what have been our initial reactions? Maybe we’ve asked questions…
- How could this happen?
- Why is God allowing this?
- What are we going to do?
Our minds are thrown into turmoil, our inner peace is disturbed, we feel like “the rug has been pulled out from under our feet”.
Maybe we have insecurities because of things that have happened in the past, or words have been said to us, that have affected us in our thinking and behaviour, that have shaped our lives and caused us to have hidden feelings about who we are, what do other people think of us?
In my own life I’ve had plenty of things happen to me that fall into both of these categories, just like many of you.
So how do we deal with these things? Where did the answers to my questions come from? How did I overcome, and how do I still continue to overcome my insecurities, because they do still raise their ugly head sometimes.
Before I try and tell you I’d like you to read Read Psalm 91 in the Bible
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
More than 25 years ago I was gripped by the sudden fear that I would not live to see my children grow up. I don’t know why it happened or where the thoughts came from, but it troubled me for weeks. Then I was afraid that if people knew about this fear, what would they think of me. I’m a Christian, I shouldn’t be fearful, I shouldn’t be worried, I shouldn’t be this, that or whatever. So I didn’t share it with anyone. BIG mistake! The fear just became worse. I prayed about it, begged God to take it away, tried to just ignore it. But still it stayed, eating away at me. But then God answered.
One night at a church prayer meeting a group of us were praying and a lady, who didn’t know me at all, she was visiting our Pastor’s wife at the time, shared that God had “shown” her someone who “had an enormous weight of fear on them”. I knew I had to say it was me, or miss the opportunity to be free. I wasn’t asked what the fear was. The lady prayed for me and the fear was lifted, I went home that night and came across Psalm 91, it’s been very special to me since then. God reminded me that night that my soul is safe in His hands; for me it speaks of the mighty hand of God that I rest in every day of my life. Sometimes I don’t feel this security, but you know we shouldn’t rely on feelings, because they change all the time. We need to rely on the Word of God which tells us in John 10 v 28 (Jesus speaking) “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
I can rest in the knowledge that whatever happens in my life He is in control, it’s up to me to accept this rest. Yes I still get scared, I still get worried and fret sometimes, I’m still human!
Remember verse 2 of Ps 91….. ‘I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”’
So I’d like us to think about a few questions, about our insecurities, and see if we can turn them around so that we can say in our heart and mind…. I AM SECURE!
Are you looking toward the future with fear?
Have you lost your job, or it’s at risk? Are you sick of being sick? Are you worried for somebody else’s future? Don’t be afraid of what might happen or live in mistrust because of past experiences.
If we can just grasp what Jesus offers, there will be peace. We are loved by the One who says, “trust Me”. Get yourself “under His wing, in His shadow”. It’s your choice, you have to put yourself there; have you ever seen chicks or ducklings when they feel threatened or in danger? They run straight for their Mother and get tucked under her wing. Swans climb onto the back of their mother and hide under the wings. Are we spending time with God, are we “resting in the shadow of the Almighty” . Are we running to God?
This is what God says in Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” We need to go to Him, to seek His face, to spend time with Him.
Are you experiencing Hopelessness?
Satan loves to convince you that there’s no hope, just despair and fear. Well he is a liar! Hope is the resting place for all who trust in Christ. When we say to God, “I trust you,” heaven celebrates, hell shudders, and we are at peace. Psalm 25:4-5 says:
“Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.”
When there are thoughts of negativity going on in your head and someone is feeding you a load of lies, just start quoting scripture. That’s what Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness. He said, “It is written!” We need to get to know this book – and apply it to our lives more and more! Let’s not allow it to get dusty!
Is your past affecting your present security, is negative input in your life weighing you down?
Because of Christ we don’t have to live in the past; we can live a life today that is better than one we could have dreamed for ourselves. I know I do. Don’t listen to the lies of your past. When you surrendered your life to Jesus He gave you a brand new life, not a revamped one, the old has gone, the new has come!
In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
It took me a long time to get over stuff from my past after becoming a Christian. I knew I was forgiven, but I had had things said to me that had warped my thinking about myself. Words had shaped my character and made me hide myself. I was afraid to be me. I was afraid of what people thought of me.
I was constantly told as a child to be quiet, if I did say something I was laughed at. When I went to school I was verbally bullied by the other kids because I didn’t really know how to interact. A teacher said to me once in front of a class full of people that my talk was the most boring thing he’d ever heard. I took all of this into adulthood, and was so painfully shy. I was so afraid of speaking. I had no confidence.
This is where the Church….that’s YOU by the way not bricks and mortar….can help each other. Because through reading God’s Word and applying it to my heart and my thinking, and being part of a loving church family, I have been restored to who, I believe, God wants me to be. This church family is so important to me – for more reasons than I’ll go into here.
Are you lonely? Have you drifted from God?
You’re never lost to God. He knows where you are. Even when we choose to walk away from Him, He’s waiting to welcome us back into His arms. Just look at the Prodigal Son; his father was waiting with open arms just as God is waiting for you; and Church, when someone is making their way back, make it easy for them, let’s not judge. Let’s not be like the Elder brother in the story of the Prodigal. He was so angry and bitter when his brother came home and was welcomed back.
God is always close to us, just a prayer away. We can’t run from Him and we can’t hide from Him.
Psalm 139 v7 – 12 say this, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
You may have walked through unimaginable things in your life that have left you feeling fearful and insecure. But here’s one truth: we’re loved by God. Jesus never promised us a life without problems, in fact just the opposite, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” We may wait years or a lifetime for answers, we may never know the answers, but trust this; when we belong to Jesus it ends well for us.
1 Cor. 2:9 (Message translation)
“No one has ever seen or heard anything like this, never imagined anything quite like it – what God has arranged for those who love Him.“
And next time you’re feeling insecure remember what Jesus said in John 14:25-27,
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Are you going to keep turning the pages of the past or are you going to close the book!?
Thank you that our security is in you, you never leave us to fend for ourselves. We ask that by your grace, you will open our ears so that we can hear you. Open our eyes so that we can see you. Open our hearts and help us follow you. Help us Lord, to ignore the lies of the enemy and to bury Your Word deep in our heart. We pray that we will always stay close to You in Your shadow, and under Your wing. AMEN