Gary Casto (second from left) is lead singer of the Tribute Quartet.
“Let not your hearts be troubled,” Jesus told His disciples just hours before His crucifixion, “neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27, ESV).
Not too long after Jesus spoke these words, the disciples fled from the Garden of Gethsemane, terrified for their lives as soldiers arrested Jesus.
What can we learn from their response? It’s easy to feel peace when life is going well. But what about when we’re facing trials—a debilitating illness, the loss of a loved one, or a scary financial crisis? It’s much harder.
Gospel artist Gary Casto, lead singer of the Tribute Quartet, knows this all too well. When the pandemic hit the U.S. in early 2020, his group had to cancel at least 100 of their tour dates in the months that followed.
“During this time, as the leader and owner of the group, I had five other employees—including my bus driver—to provide for,” Casto tells Answers in Genesis. “There were times we could have been very fearful.”
Two things, Casto says, got them through this difficult season: God’s Word and mutual support.
“We were there as accountability to make sure that we remembered what we were singing about,” he says. “And we remembered the message we brought to folks. If we had a bad day, one of the guys would step up and say, ‘Hey, listen, God’s got this.’ And that’s encouraging.”
Casting Out Fear With Psalm 91
During this season, Casto worked on building his own faith by clinging to Psalm 91. Although this popular chapter in the Bible never mentions the word “fear,” it offers the antidote: trust in God.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:1-2, ESV).
“When somebody is discouraged or they’re facing a battle and they don’t know how to make a decision, I can always direct them to read Psalm 91,” Casto says.
Of course, he points out, this passage doesn’t mean believers will never face trials or suffering. On the contrary, we can expect to go through hardships in life. What this psalm does promise, though, is that even through those trials, God’s people can trust Him and His plan.
“That Scripture is letting you know that no matter what your valley or mountain is, you have the assurance that God said He would never leave you nor forsake you, that He’d always stick right there beside you,” Casto says.
Shifting Your Focus Away From Fear
During the pandemic, Casto realized he needed to shift his prayer strategy. Instead of simply telling God all his problems during prayer, he began thanking the Lord for who He is and what He’s done. He stopped obsessing over his storms and started focusing on God’s victories.
The result for Casto was a stronger faith—a faith that left no room for fear. Now, he encourages others to do the same:
“Start telling your stories, your mountains, your valleys, how big the God you serve is, because He’s still faithful. He was faithful some 2,000 years ago, and He’s still the same today. He’s the God of yesterday and today and tomorrow. That’s not going to change. But He can change our circumstances.”
This is the message of hope that Casto and the rest of the Tribute Quartet seek to bring to every person who attends their concerts. And in fact, Casto is looking forward to encouraging those who come watch his group perform at the upcoming 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music event at the Ark Encounter.