Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Preface, Verses 1-2, and Share Your Story

Phyllis Nissila

Click here for the entire collection of devotions on Psalm  91 verses in free, downloadable booklet form.


I woke up yesterday morning and turned on the news to this: “And we have no idea as of yet,” the nuclear energy expert said, her voice tense, “the full impact and far-reaching damage of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster…”

I tried another radio station and heard: “And economic advisers are predicting the financial fiasco may be just months away…”

One more attempt to get some news, a weather forecast maybe—I’d settle for a mattress commercial at this point—revealed: “The United Nations is forming a plan to ‘save earth from killer asteroids’” (I did not make this up).

So much bad news and I’m not even out of bed yet.

I turned off the radio.

Immediately, bits and pieces of Psalm 91 came to mind:

“…Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare…” (3)

“…under his wings you will find refuge…” (4)

And “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble…” (15).

Okay, Lord. This looks like a Psalm 91 kind of day, I thought. And I decided that before I let all the current troubles fester in my consciousness I’d open the Bible to the famous “help in hard times” Psalm and read through from verse 1 to the end.

And so I did.

And it was good.

(Picture shoulders easing down from ears as tension slowly recedes…)

And it occurred to me that I could offer like comfort and encouragement to others.

What follows, in installments, is a walk through Psalm 91 that I hope for you, too, will provide some peace and strength in the midst of the fray, for the coming days may get a lot worse before they get a lot better.

Here’s the first installment.

Be fortified.

And, if you like, share your stories, too.


The Sturdy Oak 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1, NIV)

oak-tree-quercus-robur_w128When I was a kid one of my favorite pastimes was climbing a certain tree in the front yard. I loved the view from high up and the protection from stray dogs, rivaling sibs, and other trouble “on the ground.”

I loved the sounds of the tree as I nestled in its sturdy branches, leaves bristling in the breeze. I felt peaceful and safe there. And it was a cool place in the hot, humid, Midwest summers.

I picture a dwelling place with God as also being high up and peaceful like my perch in the branches of the old oak. I picture a refuge “in the shadow of the Almighty” to be refreshing, too.

But mostly, I picture the “shelter of the Most High” to be a place of safety, away from the fray.

Trouble may clamor beneath, or over there, or in the rumblings of war machines far or near, but in the dwelling place of God, wherein we are invited to spend time, indeed to remain, we can find rest.

For like that sturdy oak, God is not moved.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust” (2).


Share your own story of how God has been a “refuge” (stronghold, strength, fortress, defense, trust) for you.


Photo from the public domain

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6 Responses to Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Preface, Verses 1-2, and Share Your Story

  1. Pingback: Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verse 3 | pnissila

  2. Carl Gordon says:

    Soothing! The booklet idea is a really good one! Thank you 🙂


    • pnissila says:

      You might also want to check out my sister Claire’s “Text Tracts” in the Free Download’s page. She updated them to match the kind of graphics that now appear when people receive messages on their iphones. These are excellent tools to reach people with the simple message to “talk to Jesus.” Good for a youth group activity–take a walk through a mall or down a busy street and leave them here and there. They are also useful to leave with tips at restaurants and on college campuses or to simply handout as so led. Easy to download, trim, and fold.


  3. Cathy says:

    What goes through my mind, when reading your Devotional……something I used to hear, in Catholic Mass, from the Psalm 27:
    The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I be afraid?
    I kept singing it quietly, over and over.
    That part, of the Liturgy, will always stay with me….thank goodness, it was written by King David, and not a Roman Catholic theologian! 🙂

    Your Devotional was Spot-on, and current, in the”Midst of the Fray!”


    • pnissila says:

      Hi, there my friend!

      Excellent scripture reference of your own: Psalm 27. The Holy Spirit speaks to us in every sort of fray ;)!

      My sense for this whole series is that when I am done, I will attach all the separate devotionals together so that if people want a “whole” Psalm 91 “booklet” it will be there for them.

      I have been very inspired of late to read the Psalms which I’ve never concentrated so much on before. I am hearing of others also being prompted to read the same book. I think as prophecy unfolds we will need to remind ourselves more and more “from whence” our help, protection, strength, and JOY comes from. And, of course, the joy of the Lord IS our strength!



      • Cathy says:

        Recently, I have heard the Fullness of His Presense is when we Praise him!
        Also, the Fullness of Joy is from Him……so it makes sense to say: The Joy of the Lord is my Strenghth and I Can Do All Things Through Christ who Strengthens Me!

        Good idea, making your Booklet!

        I have learned much, about The Journey into Gods Love through Solomen’s Song Of Psalms, which compares King Jesus -Solomen and the Bride Of Christ-Shulamite Bride. This is a televised show, Discovering The Jewish Jesus, by Rabbi Schneider,a Messianic Jew in Toledo, Ohio!


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