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?
Psalms 56:3-4 ESV
Did you notice the title? It was intentional. I used the word when not if, for fear comes to all of us at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a fear of heights, a fear of failure, or a fear of the unknown, we all have faced and will face fear. There’s no getting around it, really. All of us at some point will have to walk outside our comfort zone, face the unexpected, or tackle the unknown. We need not ever try to avoid fear. Fear will come.
So if we know fear is inevitable, instead of wasting our precious time trying to avoid fear–instead of beating ourselves up every time we feel afraid–we need to acknowledge the fear–acknowledge it yet not embrace it.
In Psalm 56 (and throughout all the Psalms), David faced fear. He was despised, chased, hunted, and much more throughout his life. Fear was not a stranger to him. Yet what David knew, and what we must also remember, is fear is not a state of being; it’s a catalyst. We as God’s children are not supposed to remain afraid; we are to place our fears at God’s feet. We are to trust God with our fears. We are not to be afraid (meaning we are not to be continually in fear); we are to trust in God. We are to trust in the One more powerful than anything and anyone. We are not to remain afraid; we are to run to God. Fear should never be permanent in the life of a believer. Fear should never paralyze us. Rather, it should propel us into the arms of our Father.
We do not fail when we fear. Remember this today. Fear in and of itself is not failure. Rather, failure comes when we cling to the fear instead of to our Father.
So if you are afraid today, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling fear. Death is scary. Cancer is scary. New is scary. Different is scary. Many situations in life are scary. Yet whatever it is–known or unknown–that is causing you to be afraid today, do not allow it to keep you there. Bow before your Maker. Surrender your heart and your situation to the only One powerful enough to redeem it. Be not afraid. Be still. Be still and know God is God. Be still and know you will see the goodness of God in land of the living. Be still and know that the One who is for you is greater than anyone or anything that could possibly be against you. Do not remain afraid about anything today. Instead “…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). And as you do–as you place your fear at our Father’s feet–as you let go of what’s paralyzing you–you’ll feel the change. No, your circumstances may not change. The cancer may remain; your loved one may die; your future may still be unclear. But what will not remain will be the fear; it will be replaced–replaced with faith–replaced with peace–more specifically, the peace of God–the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Therefore I encourage you now: be not continually afraid. Let God’s peace rule and reign in your heart today. Take that fear and cast it at your Father’s feet. God knows your situation. God knows your heart. And God knows exactly what you are going through. So run to Him. Embrace Him. Trust Him. And remember: “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).
Fear is not an if; it’s a when. But when fear comes, always remember, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). No one!