- November 13, 2018
- Jared Odenbeck
A little while ago, Upper Room, a church in Dallas, released a song that goes, “It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you.” After I contemplated the lyrics, I realized two things. One, I never get past the harrowing realization that I am surrounded in order to make room for the understanding that I am also surrounded by God. Why? Because I do not trust God. Two, unless I am surrounded, there is no opportunity for trust. There is no refining and no testing of my faith. There is no seeing God as strong, mighty, and faithful. And all things exist for the glory of God and the sake of his renown.
Why does it matter if God surrounds us when we are surrounded? And how will we experience the benefits that come from that belief and realization? I saw that Psalm 125 offers us a diagnostic test of both our trust in God and our salvation through God through the principle of God surrounding his people. “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalms 125:1-2).
Those who trust in the Lord “abide forever” – they are eternally secure and cannot be snatched (John 10:4) because “the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 125:2). Those who trust in God for their security and salvation concern themselves not with troubles of this world, but with the goodness of God towards them in this age and the age to come.
Secondly, those who trust in the Lord are immovable – no calamity, no affliction, no trouble will shake them. When opponents surround those who trust God, whether by suffering, by trials, by disappointments, so God also surrounds those who are his. And though surrounded, these light and temporary afflictions will not move those who trust him, because they know that God will work all things for good (Romans 8:28) and that what opponents mean for evil, he means for good (Genesis 50:20). When we trust in God, we abide in him, or we attach ourselves to him. We become rooted firmly like Mount Zion – immovable, secure, and strong.
Do you trust him? Perhaps I should ask, are you immovable? That is how we will know. When our heart cries out with worry, when we fret in the grip of anxiety, I pray that we would recognize our unbelief, cry out to God and plead that he would help our unbelief, and then return to trust – return to the immovable and unshakable confidence of trust in a God that surrounds us in his sovereign love, now and forever.