Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Psalms 27-29
Fear can become a paralyzing emotion and, if we are not careful, its tentacles can enslave us. Not all fear is negative; for instance, there are some things that warrant a good healthy dose of fear. It is good to fear and revere authority if that authority guards us against the consequences of foolish and unlawful choices. We are wise to fear the dangers of a fiery blaze, the deadly potential of a lightning strike, the fast approach of a train at a railroad crossing, and the penalty of failing to study for an exam.
It is the dominant aspect of negative, enslaving fear that is devastating to the soul. Some fear failure and become paralyzed and incapable of making wise decisions. Fear of people drives some to withdraw into a cocoon of ambivalence. Fear criticism, and you may vainly seek to withdraw into self-imposed isolation. Fear rejection and you retreat from friendship and relationships. Fear verbal attacks that assail your motives and assault your character, and you are tempted to quit!
How can we overcome fear? Let’s take some spiritual lessons out of David’s life experiences (Psalm 27:1-3).
Psalm 27:1 – “The LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God] is my light [brightness] and my salvation [Deliverer]; whom shall I fear? the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God] is the strength [fortress; hold; rock; protection; refuge] of my life; of whom shall I be afraid [fear; tremble]?”
We note three assertions of David’s courage and faith in verse 1. The first, “The Lord is my Light”: David’s confidence was not in himself or in human thought or philosophy; his courage arose from his conviction that the LORD Who is Jehovah, Eternal God, was the source of light to his soul (John 1:4-5, 9; 1 John 1:5). David’s second assertion was, “The LORD…is my Salvation”; his Deliverer; not only his guiding light, but also the One Who is able to save his soul from the curse of sin.
Having declared his faith that the LORD is his light and salvation, David asks, “Whom shall I fear?” Is anyone too big for God? Is anyone stronger than the LORD? Is any circumstance greater than the LORD?
David’s third assertion is, “The LORD is the Strength of my life”; his Rock, Fortress and Refuge! Why be afraid of mortal men if the Lord is your Protector? Why scurry from a foe like a rat retreating from a predator?
Having stated the LORD is the object of his faith; David considered God’s providences and protection in the past (27:2).
Psalm 27:2 – “When the wicked [evil], even mine enemies [adversary] and my foes [hostile], came [approached; drew near] upon me to eat up [devour; consume; feed] my flesh [body], they stumbled [became weak; overthrown; staggered] and fell.”
David had experienced the threats of adversaries who relished in besmearing his character and gloated in his sorrows. Friends and family had cannibalized his soul with malicious attacks and disparaging lies. Of those enemies David testified, “they stumbled and fell” (27:2b).
Remembering God’s faithfulness, David was embolden and declared he would not be overcome with fear.
Psalm 27:3 – “Though an host [camp; great company] should encamp [pitch; lay siege] against me, my heart [mind; understanding] shall not fear [tremble; be afraid]: though war [battle; warfare; combat] should rise against me, in this will I be confident [trust; secure].”
Take heart friend! If the LORD is your Light, Salvation, and Refuge; if He has proven faithful in the midst of trials that are past; cast aside your fears and affirm with David:
I will not allow fear to overcome me; I will not allow the threat of the unknown rob me of my faith and confidence in the LORD.
If the LORD is your God, no foe or trial should keep you from embracing this thought: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Fear? Ain’t got time for that!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith