“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
— Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
Many Americans install alarms in their homes and cars so that their possessions are protected against intruders. We purchase firearms and take courses to help equip us with the skills necessary for personal protection. What money we have is placed in banks and security vaults, so it can’t be taken. Some of us have financial advisors to make sure our limited funds are wisely invested.
With all our security systems, yearly physicals, savings accounts, and pension plans, the only real peace we can find comes from knowing that we will never face life alone. Security is important, but can really only be found in the presence of God. The psalmist, David, understood this.
As a little boy watching over his flock, he had his sling. As a soldier he carried a sword. As a General he had his army and companions who surrounded him. As a King he had his guards and cupbearers to protect him. As a father he had a family around him. But he knew that the only true peace came from knowing the love and comfort of God.
Today, loneliness and despair are unwelcome companions for too many people struggling with life. Some feel the isolation once experienced by King David. “Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.” (Psalm 142:4 NIV)
Our security is guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit: “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us and set his seal of ownership on us and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21–22 NIV)
Our security is guaranteed by Christ’s intercession: “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:34–39 NIV)
Our security is guaranteed by God’s power: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—“ (Jude 24 NIV)
Our security comes from unity and friendships: “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5 NIV) And Hebrews 10:24–25 urges us, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Feeling more secure? Know that God is faithful, and His love is everlasting.
How does this verse speak to you about the importance of Christian fellowship?
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
— Colossians 3:12–14
Jim Grassi, D. Min.