We’ve made it out of 2021. We’re in the first week of 2022 (at time of writing). It’s natural, in these transition moments, to look ahead. I can think of plans I want to accomplish this year. There are places I would like to visit, perhaps even on an aeroplane. There are people I’d like to see. However, there is a bit of a question mark over the next year during this covid uncertainty. And so, this is why Psalm 121 is a word in season. It’s a Psalm which is really appropriate for the first week of 2022.
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121 is a psalm which speaks to something that we all struggle with, in one form or another. And it’s the problem that each of us have with insecurity.
What is insecurity?
According to websters dictionary, insecurity is a) a state or feeling of anxiety, fear or self doubt. b) lack of dependability or certainty. c) lack of safety or protection.
As one person said: insecurity arises within us when we look at ourselves, and then look at the situation we find ourselves in, and then struggle to come to terms with it.
This we as human beings are constantly going through this, in one way or another.
For example, you meet someone who you know is more intelligent than you are at work. This person can very obviously solve problems you have no idea how to fix. You find yourself measuring and comparing yourself against them but you realise that we can’t match them. It’s then that insecurity can arise within our hearts. We become insecure in who we are. We lack confidence, we doubt.
When we find ourselves like this, we react in all sorts of ways. Perhaps we try and get people on our side. Maybe we form allies against someone, create cliques, story top their stories, to make ourselves look better than we are.
The insecure heart is uncomfortable and not at ease.
It might not be other people, of course, it might be a huge event you’ve got to plan, a project to complete on time, or a health situation in your family, or even something like the unknown of a pandemic, and what the year ahead might hold. Insecurity arises when we are overwhelmed or scared at what lies ahead of us.
We might try to ignore insecurity in ourselves, or pretend like this is not you and me. But I want to suggest that the better way, what God wants for us, is to take on board these words from Psalm 121.
The LORD, through these inspired words of scripture, speaks to us when we’re feeling insecurity arise within us. He speaks to us when we’ve lost confidence and when we don’t know what to do next.
Psalm 121 speaks to us, as insecure people, with a soothing balm for our souls. There is security to be found. Not in ourselves, but in the LORD. And the good news is that in him alone is all the help we need. And that we need to trust him for it.
While we journey along this pilgrim road of the christian life, there are many fears and scary things which come, which cause us insecurity. Maybe a health scare. Or a job which doesn’t come along. Or you just don’t know how to pay the big bill which appeared out of no where. In these moments, our hearts look to find remedies to our trouble in all sorts of places. Yet, as the Psalm says there is only one place, one person who can truly help.
We, along with the pilgrims who sung this Psalm on the way to worship at Jerusalem, need to be reminded of this. Because we, very often, find ourselves looking for help in all the wrong places. However, our help isn’t in the hills, the idols which both threaten and come to us with false promises of help. Rather, we need to say these words, we need to hear them: My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The Psalm writer wants us to know that nothing is beyond God’s control. The Maker who made it all, is the one who made us, is the one who cares for each one of us in each and every moment.
The Apostle Paul says of Jesus in Colossians 1:16-17 says “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
See the help that Jesus provides us?
The one who made it all, knows all, is the one who holds everything together in infinite power, and he’s in charge of all, and he’s working out all things in this world for his glory, for his praise.
The Maker of heaven and earth, came to earth. To provide the great help we all need as fallen creatures, redemption from our sins, and the promise that he’s return one day and redeem this universe. And the promise that he’s with us even to the end of the age (Matthew 28).
That’s the help we need along the journey.
Jesus has got this.