The Comfort Psalms: God Is Our Shelter

Part 5 of a 5-part devotional by Brent Lanigan 

The psalms are some of the most beautiful books written in the Bible. They articulate many emotions that people experience throughout their lives – both in times of contentment and in crisis moments. There are many psalms that reflect people’s praise to God: their joy, worship and adoration of him. But did you know that there are also psalms that express peoples’ honest and raw emotions: their fears, anxiety and hopelessness?

During this COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps you or your family are feeling overwhelmed in a way that you have never experienced before. The beauty of these “comfort psalms” is that they don’t leave us feeling emotionally helpless. Instead, because these passages beautifully reflect pictures of God’s caring character, we are reminded of how much God loves us. Comfort psalms give us hope, peace and assurance that God is always with us and fully understands all the emotions that we feel deeply during times of crisis. Are your ready to discover God in the comfort psalms? Let’s get started:

Part 5: God Is Our Shelter

Psalm 91: (writer unknown) Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be

your shield and rampart. You will not fear the…pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

Opening Tidbit

In the 50’s and 60’s during the Cold War, air raid shelters were all the rage in North America as people grew paranoid about the potential use of nuclear bombs. From do-it-yourself home shelters to vast governmental bunkers, building a bomb shelter became a primary priority for many people. The one problem is that people seem to have forgotten what kind of total annihilation occurred in Hiroshima when the atom bomb was detonated over that city to end WWII. But panic and fear will convince people to do the craziest things sometimes. Conversely, here is why God is our Shelter:

Scripture Study

I first encountered this Psalm about 20 years ago during a dark and discouraging time of my life. I say dark because I was experiencing intense anxiety and panic attacks. I was not yet married and I lived in another province away from my family. So during this difficult period, my mom would send me daily Bible verses reminding me of all the different ways in which God cared for me and desired to deliver me from my fears. The passage of Scripture that I clung to more than any other in that time was Psalm 91. Why? Read on. 

According to the internet dictionary, a shelter is “something that gives you temporary protection from bad weather or danger.” Thus, the author of Psalm 91 pictures God sheltering us from danger that makes us fearful. The only difference is God’s shelter is permanent! What kind of danger does God shelter us from? The kind that COVID – 19 is producing (the deadly pestilence that stalks in the darkness, the plague that destroys). But when God is our shelter we can find peace for our hearts and minds (whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty). And what kind of shelter is God exactly? Interestingly, the author chooses to picture God as a bird (He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge)!

Yet it’s not just enough to think of God as our shelter; we have to trust in our hearts and minds that he will shelter us from the things that make us fearful (I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”) Because in the end what matters most is that we show our love for God by trusting him to shelter us from all our fears, anxieties and panic – whether because of COVID – 19 or something else. For when we do, God’s promise is thus: “Because they love me I will rescue them; I will protect them…they will call on me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble.”

Questions To Discuss Together

1) The author of Psalm 91 pictured God as a bird. When you think of God as your shelter what kind of word picture comes to your mind?
2) Talk about what kind of emotions you are experiencing as you live through the COVID – 19 pandemic. Do you trust God to shelter your heart and mind from being overwhelmed?


Pray together as a family and ask God to shelter you from whatever fear, anxiety or panic you may be feeling. Remind each other daily of the pictures of God’s character you have learned about this week: how God desires to be our shielding Protector, our compassionate and caring Shepherd, our mighty Fortress and our protective Shelter.