3 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
David admitted his weakness when he said “I am afraid.” And like David all of us have fears of some kind. Maybe you are afraid of losing your job, losing your finances, or losing a loved one that you have depended on for affection and acceptance. Maybe you have fears about loneliness, fears about being accepted by others, fears about failure, fears about rejection, fears about your children, fears about your relationship or marriage, or fears of facing tomorrow. Whatever the fears may be, all of us have uttered the words “I am afraid” at one time or another whether privately or publicly. The feeling of fear has a powerful influence on how we think and act. For some it creates a fight or flight impulse, others are paralyzed and fear prevents them from fulfilling their purpose in life. The reality is that all of us react in the grip of fear.
Fear’s desire is to conquer the soul, to isolate us emotionally so that we can’t enjoy the life God has purchased through His Son Christ Jesus. Yet God wants us to live free from the torment of fear 2 Timothy 1:7 declares, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” God desires for us to live the abundant life while the force of fear wants to prevent us from experiencing the abundant life of joy, the abundant life of peace, the abundant life of freedom, the abundant life of courage, and the abundant life of prosperity. Fear does not act alone but brings with it its twin cousins of discouragement and depression. Together they shout death to our purpose, death to our promises, death to our dreams. Is fear trying to rob you of your dream, to kill and stop you from enjoying the life that God has provided and intended for you to live?
David’s life was governed by fear instead of being guided by faith and he knew it, so He made the decision to trust and turn to God and to break the grip of fear through:
David confessed his fear, he admitted to being afraid of people, he said in Psalm 56:1 “O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me.” This was a very real fear and would have included Saul and his army as well as the Philistines in Gath. David understood that in order to break the grip of fear we have to confess it to God. One of the benefits of confession is identification, as David confessed he also identify his fear. What is it and who is it that causes you to cower in fear? David did not deny his fear, he identified it and confessed it to God. Ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?” What is the nature of your fear? Are you afraid of failure that will lead to criticism? Are you afraid of failure that will lead to rejection? Are you afraid that your weakness and inadequacies will be exposed? Are you afraid that others will punish, misuse, or abuse you? What is it? Will you identify it, admit it to yourself and confess it to God?
Secondly we have to face our fears. This is why identifying them is so important; you can’t confront what you do not know. Our natural tendency is to give in to fear, to bow your knee, and give ground but confronting means we will stand firm against it. We must remember that we do not stand alone, in Exodus 14:13 we read, “Fear not; stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” So even if your knees are shaking, your mouth is dry, and you feel as though you are about to fall down, confront that fear. Fear cannot be wished away or hoped away, it must be confronted and dealt with through God’s Word. People may criticize, reject, and persecute you, but don’t allow them to intimidate you. Face the problem, the terror, and the uncertainty by faith.
What we concentrate on, where we place our focus will impact the battle. Will you chose to concentrate on the promises or the problems? The more you focus your eyes on the problem, the more fearful you become. Faith has a lot to do with focus, instead of fixing our eyes on the fear we need to focus on the Father. Your Provider promises to strengthen and sustain and He is able to handle anything you may face in this life. Fear wants to create doubt because doubt sees the obstacles where Faith sees the way, doubt sees the darkness where Faith sees the day. Fear is really an opportunity to trust even when our greatest fear is trusting God.