If there's one word that could best describe the world we live in today, it would be 'trouble.' Whether we see it on the news or experience it firsthand in profound tragedy, it can shake us.
David, the author of many of the Psalms, knew a lot about trouble. He definitely had his share of troubles. Yet for him, trouble was an invitation to look to God for help.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
God's word gives us a roadmap for navigating trouble. God is concerned about our trouble - He even claims names for Himself that describe His care, concern, and power to deal with it. In the times when we feel shaken, it's an awesome encouragement to look at the Names that God has given Himself in the Bible.
Yahweh, “The Lord”
This name of God has the connotation of a "divine warrior.” To ancient Israel, this was the covenant name of God, the holiest of names -- too holy to be even spoken aloud (Exodus 20:7 NRSV). It is derived from the Hebrew word “I am.”
Adonai, “Lord God,” “Master”
Adonai comes from the plural form of Adon (Lord). Hence, Adonai is a reference to the Trinity.
Elohim, “Creator God”
Elohim reflects the absolute power of God as the One who created heaven and earth. The name infers His sovereignty as the omnipotent ruler of all. It is declared in the first verse of the Bible and occurs a total of 2000 times in the scriptures.
This deeply personal name for God is mentioned only three times in the Bible – by Paul in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6, and by Jesus in Mark 14:36 in the garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His crucifixion.
Through this name, we see how God cares for us as a father cares for a small child. It is a name that we can call upon in childlike faith when we are in need of assurance, comfort, and protection, knowing that our Father will hear us and look after us.
Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide”
Jehovah Jireh is used by Abraham to name the place on Mount Moriah where God provided the ram to sacrifice as a replacement for his son, Isaac. For the Christian, this name overflows with meaning… it reflects God’s faithfulness to keep His promise. Knowing that He provided His own Son to be a sacrifice for us is unshakable proof that He will provide all that we need.
God knows exactly what is going on in our lives – the good and the bad. As in Abraham’s case, He will never forsake us when we are in need (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Jehovah Rapha, “The God who heals”
Jehovah Rapha reveals that it is God’s intent to make us whole. What an incredible comfort it is to know that God identifies Himself as the Healer. This name is God declaring: “I am the God who heals you.” Every name that God claims is personal – it is meant for us to use in calling on Him. We are openly invited to ask for healing from the One who has named Himself Jehovah Rapha.
Jehovah Nissi, “The Lord is my banner”
Jehovah Nissi proclaims God’s promise to protect His children. He wants it to be perfectly clear that we are under His wing – no enemy can harm those whom He protects. We know that our true adversities are not flesh and blood but are spiritual.
This means that whatever issues face us, whether financial, health, or relationship issues, have spiritual roots. They can be best addressed by calling out to God as our protector and deliverer – Jehovah Nissi.
Jehovah Shalom, “The Lord is peace”
The world is running at a thousand miles per hour. We constantly hear of trouble on every side; the world is the opposite of peace. We can find profound rest in knowing that God is not only full of peace – He IS peace. We can rest IN Him.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27
There are many more names that God has given Himself…
El Roi “The God who sees me”
El Shaddai “God Almighty”
El Elyon “My Redeemer lives”
They are given for a reason – to show us who God is and what He is like – revealing His deepest identity and intentions. When God emphasizes one of His attributes by claiming it as His name, He is giving us an unbreakable promise.
It is also a powerful invitation… call on Him by name!
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10