One of the results of this pandemic is panic. Fear is an emotion we all experience. It begins at an early age, from dread over darkness to worry over monsters under the bed. We become aware of anxiety very early in life. As we transition into the teenage years our fears tend to focus on things like rejection, humiliation and failure. As we progress into adulthood the frequency and ferocity of our fears seems to escalate as we face, financial problems disease, death, ruined relationships, aging, crime, the list goes on and on. Left unchecked fear will control and cripple us. Sometimes our fears are unfounded and irrational but more often our fears are based on rational and well-founded reasons like the fear of disease and death. There are many who have become fearful because of Covid-19. But fear is not a new problem we faced fear before this pandemic, and we will face it after. In truth we have become an anxiety-laden society. We all want answers to anxiety, something that will relieve our fears and reassure us. As a result, we start seeking some source of security, something that will instill peace and produce confidence. Some are looking for security in their savings account, while others are seeking that reassurance through a relationship. Others try to fix their worries through work while some put their trust in the government. Yet none of these solutions will bring lasting success, because they don’t offer total security or absolute reassurance. No amount of gold or government can guarantee success and peace in every situation. So, the question becomes, “what’s the antidote to anxiety, how can we have victory over fear?” In Psalm 27:1-3 we read these words, The Lord is my light and my salvation so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2 When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. Psalm 27 doesn’t just deal with fear, it details how to face our fears and find victory regardless of whether those fears are real and rational or imagined and irrational. The Psalmist gives us four focal points to conquering our fears and today we are going to look at the first one, a call to:
- Look to the Lord – Vs 1-3
In verses 1-3 David chooses to focus on God the Father not fear. He expresses confidence in God and an absence of fear in a very fearful situation, not because his fears aren’t valid but because his God is victorious. When we focus on God our fears flee. When it comes to fear this is the consistent and constant message of scripture. When Peter walked out on the water his fear got the victory only when he lost his focus on the Lord. In Isaiah 26: 3 God has said “I will keep in perfect peace all who trust in me, who thoughts are fixed on me!”Our problem today is that we are looking in all the wrong places. Instead of looking to God we look to government. But it was as David focus on God that he realized that he had no reason to fear. This is why David askes the rhetorical question, “Why should I be afraid?” When he and we consider the character of God, who He is and what He can do, there should be no real reason to fear. As David looked to the Lord he was reminded and reassured of God’s light, salvation, and secure stronghold. He starts by stating, “the Lord is my light…” Very often troubling and fearful times are described by darkness, because we feel lost and in need of direction during those times. If you’ve ever walked into a room absent of light and experienced total darkness, you’re first response was probably one of reservation because you were fearful of making a wrong turn and walking into something. This is not true when the lights are on for light enables you to look and see. The same is true in life, difficult dark times can increase our fear because we don’t know which way to go or what to do. Darkness makes life directionally difficult, but David’s fear disappears because he looked to the Lord to be his light in dark and fearful times. As David looks to the Lord, He sees the Lord as his Salvation, which means that he is looking to the Lord as his rescuer and deliverer. David is not looking to self, society, or the state to rescue him, rather he is looking to the Lord as his Savior. Not only is the Lord our Savior but He is our stronghold, not only our rescuer but also our refuge. David’s panic was replaced by peace because rather than focusing on the problems he was focusing on God’s power. As a result, David asked this question, “so why should I tremble?” If God can take care of you and carry you then why would you choose fear over faith? Today are you going to choose trembling or trusting? Are you going to be fear focused or Father focused?