Today’s scripture: Psalm 97  (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Bradley Compton):

If you are like me, or at least have experienced times of prolonged desolation when, regardless of orientation, you seemed to face almost diabolical opposition, or perhaps a seemingly godless universe indifferent to your pleas for help, then you need a powerful God. Regardless of your strength, intelligence, beauty, alliances, or other empowering attributes, you can and will be bested eventually; you will be outsmarted, outnumbered, overcome by the forces of nature, or simply expire in good time like all of us do.

We all know people who live confidently, joyfully, and apparently with little fear, and maybe you are one of them. However, isn’t there an underlying, nagging anxiety over life’s fragility in everyone — if not for our own lives, then for the lives of those we love? Scripture frequently tells us we need to fear God, and I will not argue against that here. Nevertheless, it is evident to me that I need a God stronger than the things of which I am afraid, but more importantly I need a God stronger than my fear. Think of how much more we could accomplish, how much more peaceful we would feel, if in our faith in God we overcame the fear that burdens us.

During his ministry, our Savior calmed the stormy seas by merely speaking the command, “Peace! Be still!” Just as I probably would have in my pitiful faith, the disciples exclaimed, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” I need a God before whom “mountains melt like wax” and whose “lightning lights up the world.” Concomitantly, I need a God who with that same power will quiet the storms of fear inside me.

Thought for the day: God must be stronger than the things I fear. God must be stronger than the fear within me, even more so.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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