Tensions flared in Ukraine.Â Crimea was annexed by Russia.Â The tension isnâ€™t over, but it has almost faded away in the minds of many Americans.Â It has faded, because now we are focused on the crisis in Iraq, even if only because it has driven our gas prices through the roof and has burned holes in our pockets.Â We may live in relative peace in our own country, but we are not completely naÃ¯ve about the state of our world.Â There is war.Â There is violence.Â There is hatred.Â As we celebrate Independence Day we do reflect on the privilege and gift that independence is.Â We understand the importance of the relative peace we enjoy, because it is fragile.Â IT could easily go away, and that is a scary thought.
We can have a confidence that goes beyond the strength of our armed forces.Â We can join with the Sons of Korah, who wrote:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
God is our refuge.Â Always.Â God is the one to whom we can turn, when anyone or anything threatens our peace.Â God is the one to whom we can turn when any fear attacks us.
Â Therefore we will not fear, thought he 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.
There is no certainty apart from our God.Â We can search for certainty in science or morals or ethics or the economy, but deep down we understand that type of certainty is but a wisp of smoke.Â We can search for certainty in treaties and alliances, but they can and will be broken.Â Yet there is certainty in our God:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.Â God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â We do not fear becauseâ€¦
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
The Psalm continues in verses 8 as we are beckoned to â€œâ€¦come and see the works of the LORD..â€ There are many works of our God that point us to his power, his might, and his strength, but there is one that demonstrates all of that and his incredible love for us.Â We have seen how God carried out his plan of rescue and redemptions through his Son Jesus Christ.Â It was on the cross as sin was consumed and at the grave as death was swallowed up in victory that a true and eternal peace was shown to this world.
It is in Jesus that we see our Godâ€™s strength of love.Â It is in Jesus that we can always be confident of the peace God brings to us:
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earthâ€¦ â€˜Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.â€™ The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Beautiful Saviorâ€™s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms.Â These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on Godâ€™s Word.