Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 56. Then, come back and read the following verse again.
“When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3 ESV)
I have some utterly irrational fears.
I am scared of sharks. That doesn’t sound all that irrational, but I am truly scared of sharks in any body of water. The pool at the gym for instance is not a place where you would find me swimming. I could probably win Olympic gold in a swimming event, because as soon as I hit the water I become convinced that I am about to get eaten from behind. It’s a horrible and crippling thought, and becomes completely overwhelming.
I am scared of spiders. Like properly scared. Like I won’t enter a room with a rain spider in it (rain spiders are large but harmless spiders that are common in South African homes). All of my deepest complementarian convictions evaporate the second one of those suckers enters our house and my wife, Sue, has to become the head of the household … and fast. It makes very little sense to be so scared of something that can’t harm you.
But I also have some more seemingly rational fears.
What if I lost someone I loved?
What if my children rebelled and walked away from God and our family?
What if I got sick?
What if I failed in ministry?
What if Jesus grew tired of me?
Sometimes these things make me afraid. The beauty of Scripture is that there is room for some fear in our human existence. It is assumed by David in Psalm 56.
“When I am afraid …”
I love what comes next though. David doesn’t try to minimize his fear and he doesn’t dwell on his fear either. He acknowledges it and meets it with faith. The Scripture says that faith is being certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). That implies that we have to go through fear to faith, and without fear it doesn’t take faith.
So what are you afraid of? Own it. Own up to it. Then fight it with faith.
Put your trust back in Him and watch those genuine fears dissipate in the reality of who He is.
Father God, teach me to have more fear of You and less fear of anything else that I encounter. In Jesus’ name.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)