Overcoming Fear (Psalm 27) * First of two devotionals.

Scripture reading – Psalm 27, 31

Fear can become a paralyzing, dominant emotion.

Not all fear is negative. Some concerns of life warrant a good healthy dose of fear.  For instance, it is good to fear, and revere authority if that authority cautions you against the consequences of foolish or unlawful choices.  It is also wise to fear true dangers in life, such as fire, or the deadly potential of lightning. Fearing the effects of failing to study for an exam, or the potential harm from being careless and irresponsible, of course is good!

It is the negative aspect of fear that pangs the soul. For some, the fear of failure, renders them incapable of making decisions. For others, the fear of rejection may be the most dominant fear they face. Most fear criticism, and in a vain attempt to be insulated from detractors, retreat into self-imposed isolation from friendships, and relationships.

Can we have victory over fears? Absolutely! Psalm 27 affords us a lesson in resolute, victorious faith that overcomes fear. Time and space prevent me from presenting a thorough verse-by-verse study, but the first three verses of Psalm 27 are a sampling of David’s meditations when he was hunted by an enemy who would not be dissuaded until he was dead.

Of what are you afraid? (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; rock; protection; refuge] of my life; of whom shall I be afraid [fear; tremble]?”

Notice that David asserted his faith and courage in three phrases. The first, “the Lord is my Light – His courage arose from his conviction that the LORD alone, was the source of light to his soul (John 1:4-5, 9; 1 John 1:5). “The LORD…is my Salvation” – Only God was able to deliver him from his enemy. David then declared, “The LORD is the Strength of my life” – my Rock, Fortress and Refuge!

Asserting his faith that, the LORD was his light, salvation, and strength, David asked, “Whom shall I fear?”  Is there a trial too big for the LORD?  An enemy too strong?  Is there a circumstance greater than God? Absolutely not!

David went on his thoughts and meditations, and encouraged his soul by reflecting on the LORD’s providences, and protection in the past (27:2).

Psalm 27:2 – “When the wicked [evil], even mine enemies and my foes [hostile adversaries], came [approached; drew near] upon me to eat up [devour; consume; feed upon] my flesh [body], they stumbled [became weak; staggered] and fell.”

David had experienced the threats of adversaries who relished in smearing his character, and exulted in his sorrows.  He had been the object of malicious attacks, and disparaging lies.  Of those enemies, David testified, “they stumbled and fell” (27:2b). Then, taking courage by stating his faith in the LORD, and remembering His faithfulness in the past, David affirmed 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].”

Believer, follow David’s example, and declare: The LORD is my Light, Salvation, and Refuge! His faithfulness in past trials should embolden you to set aside your present worries, and affirm: I will not allow fear to overcome me, or the threat of the unknown to rob me of peace, and joy in the LORD.  

2 Timothy 1:7 –7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear [cowardice; timidity]; but of power [ability to overcome], and of love [self-sacrificing love], and of a sound mind [disciplined in one’s emotions, feelings, thoughts].”

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith