February 11, 2024

“In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11)

Man can do quite a lot, actually. David (who wrote this Psalm) knew this very well. Just to pick a few things from this Psalm, man can trample on you, attack and oppress you, injure your cause, stir up strife, watch your steps, and wait for your life. In Daniel 3, we see that man can have you thrown into a furnace to execute you by fire. So how can trust in God lead us to say with sincerity, “I shall not be afraid?”

Centuries later, in Romans 8, the apostle Paul (who was also no stranger to what man could do) said he could identify with Psalm 44:22, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

So how could he then turn and say, with his very next breath, that “in these things we are more than conquerors?” (Romans 8:37) Because he had this confidence.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39)

Daniel’s friends did not yet know about Christ Jesus, but they knew the LORD. They had already seen evidence of His steadfast love and presence, which had not abandoned them in exile. He had even granted them great favor with their enemies on at least two occasions that we know of! They had confidence that “when you fear God, you need fear nothing else (as quoted by many like C. H. Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, and Elizabeth Eliot, just to name a few).”

Pastor Mac Stiles once preached, “Most of the world fears the raised fist. We fear the raised eyebrow.” Most of us will likely not face violent death for the sake of the name of Jesus, but He promised us nevertheless, “You will be hated… for my name’s sake. (Luke 21:17)” Are we ready?

Join us Sunday as we ask the Lord to forge in us a greater gospel-grounded fearlessness. Kenny Clark will be preaching Daniel chapter 3 and Walt Harrah will be leading our sung worship. Please pray for each as they prepare.

See you Sunday, Grace. Let’s come hungry!

 

SONG OF THE WEEK

Our Great God  by Fernando Ortega

Our cold and ruthless enemy
His pleasure is our harm
Rise up, O Lord, and He will flee
Before our sovereign God