Summary: God gives you the strength to overcome your fears.
How God Helps You Overcome Fear
History of this Psalm
This hymn (A Mighty Fortress is Our God) is one of the most significant in church history. It was written by Martin Luther on his way to the Diet of Worms. He was invited to this meeting by the Holy Roman Emperor and the pope under the guise that they were interested in hearing his views that conflicted with the objectives of the religious establishment of his day. Actually the counsel was set up as a trap. First it was their intention to humiliate Luther and then murder him on his way home.
Luther knew his life and reputation were at risk, but he went nonetheless. On the way, he was comforted by the words of Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3) It was then that Luther penned this famous hymn.
As it turned out, Luther was craftier than his adversaries and defended his cause in the meeting with authority and eloquence. On the way home, as he was traveling in his carriage in the forest, friendly Prince Philip “kidnapped” Luther and kept him in his castle, protecting him from eminent harm.
THEME #1 – God is my strength. I must have courage.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.Selah
(Psalms 46:1-3 NKJV)
God is my strength, or more precisely my source of strength. He is where I can find strength when things are hard. Even though:
Circumstances trouble me.
Some things or people are removed from me.
Some things has cast away from me.
Problems and people shake me up.
Have you ever felt bothered and scared by someone or something. Were you ever in a situation where you felt that your life was at risk? Did you fear someone else or something else in your life?
God wants you to know that He is your strength. He will give you the courage that you need. You need courage to face the fears in your life.
Mark Twain once said: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.”
Eddie Rickenbacker once said: “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”
During the time of the exodus, the people of Israel were moving around in the desert. Moses asked 12 spies to go out and check the Promised Land. You remember the story. Ten came back and said that the place was too scary. Two came back and said that we should have the courage to take the challenge. Notice what one of them said:
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."
(Numbers 13:30 NKJV)
There was another spy. His name was Joshua. Look at what God says to Joshua before the people of Israel actually do enter the land. The people entered the land 40 years after they should have conquered it. Caleb was ready to go. But when Joshua actually does lead the people, God tells him three times to have courage. Why?
Because Joshua still has some fears. Even after all this time, Joshua has some fear. Of what exactly we don’t know. But God says: Have courage. I am with you.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
(Joshua 1:9 NKJV)
Just as Joshua had to learn, and just as Martin Luther had to learn, we have to learn. We have to learn to hold on to God as our strength and have courage.
But courage will come from the strength of God, only after we have placed our trust in Him. We must trust Him as the only place of security.
THEME #2 – God is my security. I must trust Him.
God is not only your strength, He is also your source.
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us;