Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Overcoming Life’s Many Fears

PSALM 56:3-4 – When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

THEME OF THE DAY. OVERCOMING LIFE’S MANY FEARS. Do we recall the first time the Bible records a human being experiencing the terror of being afraid? It was Adam. After the fall in the Garden of Eden. We read – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:8-10). Imagine what it was like not being afraid about anything or anyone. That painful emotion that paralyzes us at times was foreign to the human experience. Yes, it is hard to imagine but we can look to the future when once again being afraid will not be something we ever encounter again! As we wait for that certain day, God gives us help in dealing with those seasons of being afraid. Today’s scripture, actually the whole of Psalm 56, is a great place to run and hide when being afraid in this scary world makes us want to run and hide. David offers us three things to help us overcoming many of life’s fears.

First, get a grip that life is scary. I know we know that but continually remind ourselves of that truth. It will condition us to expect fearful times of being afraid. We will learn not to be surprised and be tempted to “check out” of the fearful world and just hide. Notice what David does not say, “If I am afraid.” He proclaims, “When I am afraid.” We too often think life should be without difficulties, pain, and fear. All that false thinking does is reveal we forgot the catastrophic consequences of sin entering the world. When our first parents disobeyed God, not only did separation from Him occur, but all our emotions become irreversibly flawed. Welcome being afraid, being anxious, being stressed, being overwhelmed, and all other painful emotions causing us to doubt God. Sin did this. Sin ruined us. All of us. Remind ourselves often that our whole being was corrupted. Nothing about us is innocence and pure which means we get afraid. Easily and a lot.

Another lesson from David to overcome fear and being afraid is to model his personal resolve to overcome these sinful emotions. He does this toward three things; a resolve to trust the Person of His God, a resolve to praise His Word, and a resolve to not let fearful circumstances rule his heart – I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. Friends, without a personal effort to bring our emotions under the control of our thinking, being afraid will become a regular experience in our lives and rob us of the joy of the Lord.

Finally, we see David talking to himself in rational terms – What can flesh do to me? Whatever the source tempting us to be afraid – circumstances or people – what possibly can they do to us? Nothing. The Apostle Paul gave us the best defense against being afraid about anything or anyone – “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Someday we will never be afraid. That day is not today but until that day, God has given us what we need in His Word and Person to consistently defeat the temptation to live fearful in fearful times.

PRAYER: “Father, when I am afraid, remind me Who You are and Your watch care over me.”

QUOTE: “Someday we will never be afraid but until that day, trust Him who said, “Don’t be afraid.”