Living in a northern British Columbian community for three months provided an ideal visual of what it means to be surrounded by God because, no matter which direction I looked, I saw mountains standing like sentries around me.
The psalmist described a similar scene: “Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.” (Psalm 125:2 NLT)
An online dictionary defines the word “surround” as “to enclose on all sides.” It means “to encompass, encircle, envelop, and, to form a circle about.” That definition describes the topography around Jerusalem. The city is located in the middle of a low mountain range and is literally encircled, or enclosed on every side by seven peaks higher in elevation than itself.
Who is Surrounded by God?
The psalmist compared the mountains around Jerusalem to God’s presence surrounding His people. According to Psalm 125:1, “His people” are “those who trust in the Lord.” We become God’s people when we place our faith in Jesus alone for salvation – not in just doing good deeds or being a good person. We agree with Scripture that Jesus is the only way to God—He is the way, the truth, and the life—and we trust Him alone for the forgiveness of our sin. But that’s just the beginning of trusting Him.
Our faith journey gives us opportunities to trust God for wisdom when we face difficult situations. We trust Him to guide us when we face major decisions. We trust Him to give us the strength we need for our daily tasks. We trust Him to do the impossible when we face impossible situations.
These are God’s people, and these are the ones surrounded by God.
Courage Fades When Troubles Surround Us, But God Brings Hope
The reassurance that we are surrounded by God becomes especially meaningful when life gets hard and we feel like we’re in an empty, howling wasteland. The psalmist described our common human experience when he wrote, “For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.” (Psalm 40:12)
Criticism comes from one direction. Uncertainty from another. Betrayal. Shame. Illness. Loss. Disappointment. They’re all there, bringing fear, despair, and hopelessness.
God knows exactly how we feel, and that’s why He brings hope. That’s why He gives us written reminders and visual images to help us remember the truth: we are surrounded by God.
Here’s another truth on which to meditate: Because we are surrounded by God, troubles cannot touch us unless He gives them access. And if He allows them into our lives, we can rest assured He never intends for them to destroy us. Nothing can defeat us when God’s beautiful and majestic presence surrounds us. (Psalm 125:1)
We Are Victors When We Are Surrounded by God
No matter what troubles we face, their power over us cannot destroy us. We will rise above because God said so. As if to erase any shadow of doubt, He gave us a promise found in Psalm 32:7: “For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.”
Songs of victory surround us. Songs of triumph envelop us. Songs of battles won encircle us because we are surrounded by God. He encircles His people with His beautiful and majestic presence. Walk in this truth. Live from this truth. Doing so changes everything.
May I pray for you today? “Heavenly Father, thank You for surrounding us with Your beautiful and majestic presence. When troubles come our way, remind us that You are before and behind us and all around us, encircling us with songs of victory. Help us to hide in You, to find our refuge in You alone. Help us face the hard and the hurtful from a place of courage made possible because of Your great, unfailing love and presence in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”