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 actual dangers in life, such as fire or the deadly potential of lightning. Of course, fearing the effects of failing to study for an exam or the potential harm of being careless and irresponsible is good!

Nevertheless, 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 their most dominant fear. Most fear criticism and retreat from friendships and relationships in a vain attempt to be insulated from detractors.

Can you 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 of Psalm 27. However, the first three verses of Psalm 27 sample David’s meditations when he was haunted and hunted by an enemy who would not be dissuaded until he perished.

 

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 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 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?  Is an enemy too strong?  Is there a circumstance greater than God? Absolutely not!

David went on with 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, even mine enemies and my foes [adversaries], came upon me to eat up [devour; consume] 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 [great company] should encamp [pitch; lay siege] against me, my heart [mind; understanding] shall not fear [tremble]: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident [trust; secure].”

Closing challenge:

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.

 

In the words of the apostle Paul to Timothy, “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” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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