Johanna Reardon from christianbiblestudies.com wrote an article on being scared for Christianity today and it touched me so deeply I knew I wanted to share it with you tonight.
My nine-year-old son is afraid of being alone in the dark and he fears the dining room when the lights are off, and he cannot even go into a dark room. Too many movies late in the evening roaming in his head.
Of course, we know those fears are ridiculous and praying with my son every night at family alter has made me wonder what our fears look like to God.
Are our fears just as silly to him?
Does he takes into account our immaturity—just as I do with my son when I hear what sounds like foolish blabber?
Such fears remind me of Leviticus 26:36:
“You will live in such fear that the sound of a leaf driven by the wind will send you fleeing. You will run as though fleeing from a sword, and you will fall even when no one pursues you” (NLT).
Nevertheless, fear is a universal human emotion.
David says in Psalm 55:4-6
“My heart pounds in my chest …. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, then I would fly away and rest” (NLT). Have you felt that way at times? Fear so palpable that it affected you physically, and you wanted simply to flee?
Yet our lives do have valid things for us to fear: loss of job, possessions, health, family, and even worse people coming against you.
So how can we deal with our fear?
David goes on to say in Psalm 55:16-18
“But I will call on God, and the lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me” (NLT).
Note that the battle waged against David.
God didn’t stop the battle—it still roared on around him. God doesn’t always change our circumstances. We may pray that he heal our cancer, deliver us from bankruptcy, or protect us from harm during a horrible trial, but he doesn’t always do that.
So how can crying out to him all day help us with our fears?
Because it reminds us that we can trust God and his never-failing love and character, even if he doesn’t change our circumstances.
David goes on to say in Psalm 55:22
“Give your burdens to the lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall” (NLT). Though David’s words seem contradictory, the truth is that even when we do slip and fall, God is still faithful to us. We trust his care, even when that care doesn’t deliver us from our difficulties.
We have a choice about how to handle our fear. We can let it paralyze us, or we can surrender what we cannot control to God and decide to move forward in faith—camping on the certainty that no matter what happens, God loves us.
In Romans 8:38, the apostle Paul writes
“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (NLT).
Trusting the Lord means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees! We cannot end out uncertainty or the unknown.
What trial, difficulty, or disappointment are you wrestling with now?
Begin by reading 1 Samuel 17:1-54.
The secret of David’s success was his ability to trust and obey God. How can you have the same kind of faith?
1. Recall past victories.
What triumphs did David remember (1 Sam. 17:32-37)?
How did these victories give him confidence against Goliath?
List a few victories from your own life that could serve as reminders of how God worked through you in the past.
2. Reject discouraging words.
No one from the Israelite camp encouraged David in his quest to defeat Goliath. Describe briefly how each of the following men tried to dissuade him:
- His brother Eliab (vv. 26-30)
- King Saul (v. 33)
- Goliath (vv. 42-43)
All of them saw a young, inexperienced man instead of someone God could work through because they looked at David from man’s perspective instead of the Lord’s.
As this story demonstrates, some of our worst opposition and discouragement may come from those who should be on our side, such as family members or fellow believers.
3. Recognize the true nature of the conflict.
Whatever adversary you face, the real enemy is Satan.
Satan wants to defeat you and discourage you from serving God and he pops demons into the minds of the weak, the mentally ill, and individuals filled with anger to use them against you as puppets.
Certainly, you have a responsibility to address the practical aspects of your difficult situation. But remember that behind each challenge is a spiritual war. For instance, while you seek medical treatment, you might also need to wage a spiritual battle against discouragement and fear.
- What do you think the Father wants His children to remember in the midst of conflict?
4. Respond to the challenge with a positive declaration of faith.
David asked the fearful Israelites, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
To Saul, he said, “The LORD … will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine”.
To Goliath’s ridicule David said: “I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel”.
David firmly declared his belief. He wouldn’t lose, because the Almighty was with him.
The Scriptures are full of promises: for guidance (Ps. 32:8),
When worry or frustration builds, recite encouraging scriptures aloud to yourself. Your faith will grow, and so will your peace and soon the problem will be so small!
5. Rely on the power of God.
David knew it wasn’t his own reputation on the line; he also knew it was not his strength that would win the battle. Glory and victory belonged to the Lord alone.
In John 15:5, Jesus said, “He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
In other words, we can do nothing of spiritual value unless we depend on Christ to work through us.
- What would it look like for you to rely on Jesus in your present trials?
Conclusion: Every challenge presents an opportunity for the Father to display His faithfulness and love. Instead of yielding to thoughts of fear and failure, make a commitment to trust Him, even when you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Yes, you may experience failure, and life may not always turn out as you planned. But ultimately, God will be glorified, and you will be blessed.
Prayer: Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Take your burden to the Lord in prayer. Thank Him for working on your behalf, and rest in His supernatural peace. When you place your trust in God, you tap into an unstoppable force that nothing and no one can successfully oppose.