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Trusting God in times like these

Pastor Dave Trepanier

In case of emergency: Panic! These were my sarcastic and discouraging “words of the day” March 9.

Each day, I flip to the next “discouraging words” on my daily calendar — a wonderful gift from my beautiful bride. (She gets me.) On that day, the writer was ironically prophetic. By the end of the day, the stock market had plummeted, the coronavirus continued to soar, and an eerie sense of fear had settled on our connected society.

Panic! We did, and we still are.

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can keep us from doing what we ought, and it can motivate us to do what we never thought capable. It is a universal emotion, felt by all. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the Lord has something to say about fear — more than something.

The single, most repeated command in the Bible is to not fear (over 200 times). The Lord knows our frailties, knows our fears, and speaks directly to them.

David frequently experienced fear. In psalm after psalm, he petitions the Lord to intervene in a new, fearful situation. Such is the case in Psalm 27. David grew afraid as his enemies pursued him and his friends betrayed him. He felt abandoned by his parents (v. 10) as his enemies attacked (v. 2).

It is one thing to succumb to the “random” transmission of a virus; it is quite another to be actively targeted by an enemy.

That was David’s situation when he offered up these perspective-changing questions in verse 1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

David knew his own heart. He knew his tendency to predict the worst; therefore, he started with these questions. He needed to remind himself that God has proved himself faithful as his Savior. God had redeemed him, pulling him from the darkest of places. How could God not be faithful even in the midst of this recent, fear-inducing situation?

David’s questions are worth asking during these panic-driven times. They provide perspective.

Yes, the presence of a pandemic looms large, along with a gloomy shadow of economic doom. Wisdom invites us to make necessary adjustments, but instructs us to avoid panicking. If you know Christ, God has proven his faithfulness.

His faithfulness has not diminished in the shadow cast by COVID-19, even as its shadow overtakes us. Those who are his children can proclaim with confidence, “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Dave Trepanier is the pastor at Gospel Life Church in Evans City.

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