by Maria Rudolph
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‘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?’ (Psalm 27:1).
Despite knowing that we are completely redeemed by Christ’s death and his blood, many Christians are fearful of lots of things. Many are fearful of material instability and poor health. A lot of people are afraid something might happen to their loved ones. Some are frightened of displeasing God by disobeying certain rules they find in the Bible. The psalmist boldly says in today’s psalm, ‘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?’
Yet we know full well that the same author, David, finds himself in absolute agony, broken and weeping, seemingly forsaken and in anguish. It’s a human condition. No-one is immune to doubts, fear, worry and a bad conscience. But as much as the psalms express those dark human feelings in a realistic way, today’s psalm boldly proclaims God’s truth that we must cling to in all circumstances.
There is nothing and no-one to fear in the bright light of Christ, who came to us as the Light of the World (John 8:12) and as the embodiment of love (1 John 4:16). The light of Christ illuminates all darkness and sheds light on all hidden things. The perfect love of God casts out fear completely (1 John 4:18). There is nothing to fear anymore. In other words, if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?
God didn’t do a half job when he sent Jesus to the cross for you. He loved you – precious reader of this devotion, blessed child of God – so much that he took all of your sins upon himself and has made you right with God forever. There is nothing in all creation that can separate you from that love (Romans 8:39). As much as the gospel is God’s final word to us, love is the final word over fear every single time.
Loving God, increase your love in my heart so I can love even those I find hard to love, welcome even those I find it hard to welcome, and serve even those I find it hard to serve. Grant me assurance of your steadfast love, help me overcome the fears that plague me, and still the anguish in my heart with your reassuring presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.