(Psalm 139:5-10, John 14:27, Isaiah 12:2)
“Before me, behind me, always beside me
No shadow, no valley, where You won’t find me
No, I am not afraid”
No matter the situation we find ourselves in, God will never leave us or forsake us.
There is a climactic moment in “Not Afraid” when we declare that no matter the situation we find ourselves in, God will never leave us or forsake us. The poetry of Psalm 139 captures this beautifully, “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” The psalmist later marvels at the wonderful reassurance that they can never be lost to God. “If I ascend to heaven you are there! If I make my bed in the place of the dead, you are there!” There is no place we can go where the strength and support of God will not faithfully follow us.
These words can become statements of faith no matter what our circumstances may reflect. Sometimes it is an effort of the will to declare and believe that God encompasses us with steadfast devotion. It is easier to imagine life closing in around us rather than the comforting presence of our Creator.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah essentially takes a “praise break” in the midst of prophesying of the coming tribulations for unfaithful Israel. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, Isaiah knows that while Israel will be punished, God will restore them again. The future promise of hope always remains.
Often our words energized with music can bolster our hurting heart, and cause belief to bloom again.
It is not disingenuous to sing in faith. Often our words energized with music can bolster our hurting heart, and cause belief to bloom again. Is it effortless today to envisage a God that surrounds you, producing a steadfast assurance that there is nothing to fear? Or does God often feel far off, causing your heart to regress to a condition of anxiety and doubt at the first sign of trouble?
Today, let us choose the peace which Jesus gives us.
When we embrace the brilliance of God’s love, it illuminates the entirety of our being; exposing every dark corner of fear and expelling each shadow of doubt. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Today, let us choose the peace which Jesus gives us. Let us determine that our situation will not deceive us into believing that God is not near so we can sing with tenacity, “No, I am not afraid.”