The teens sitting in our small circle were quiet as they mulled over the question about fear. My husband and I were sitting in on their Bible study and their teacher (Jeff) was challenging them to consider and share what kinds of fears they deal with. It took me back to when I was their age, sitting in a similar circle, when fear held little sway in my life. Funny, the older I get, the more I come in contact with that enemy. I think the more painful experiences you encounter, the more you learn to fear.
Jeff took us through Psalm 27 and gave some encouragement for battling fear. I love this Psalm, it is a treasure to me and one that steadies and secures my fearful heart. Let’s walk through a portion of it together today. I hope you’ll pull out your own copy of God’s Word as we look at a few strengthening principles from this chapter:
David begins by asking us a “no-brainer” question:
[box]The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?[/box]
This is what I must go back to over and over again when fear threatens to drown me like a flood. I’ve returned to it several times this week. “Who is there to fear, what is there to fear, when the Lord is my security?” One version says that “The Lord is the stronghold of my life.” I love that idea, that He is my safe place, my refuge and the place where I am protected.
Can you pause with me right now and thank Him for being your “stronghold?”
David goes on to talk about having confidence even though an army encamps against him, even though war is at his doorstep. I’ve never faced military threat, but fellow believers across the world live with that real possibility.
David is “confident” as he faces the threat of physical torture and possible death, but look where he finds his confidence:
[box]One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock. (vv. 4–5)[/box]
There is safety in the “Secret Place.”
The tabernacle was the physical representation of God’s presence and David finds his confidence in abiding there. When I am concealed in the presence of God, I have no need to fear. Fear runs from the powerful presence of God.
This week I’ve experienced terrifying nightmares, something that is quite unusual for me. I’ve been assailed by an onslaught of irrational fears, but also realistic fears of future events that hold genuine possibility for loss and pain. At times I’ve felt my head pounding from a heart that is racing with fear. This is all foreign territory to me; I’m not real familiar with fear.
I’m not familiar with fear, but I am familiar with the One who faced fear head-on for me.
After two sleepless, fear-filled nights, today I confided in my husband and let him know that I needed his prayer support for this spiritual battle. As he was praying for me, the Lord directed me to the course of action I need to take in those night hours when fear overwhelms me. As each terrifying thought enters, I will use that as a prompt to voice praise. As the enemy seeks to rob my peace and confidence through fearful imaginations, I will do more than just cry out to God for help—I will worship Him in the midst of the battle. I will return to faith markers of the past and lift up praise in the night.
I will battle the terrifying onslaught with praise for my faithful God who “hides me in His shelter in the day of trouble.” I will dwell in His presence and praise Him for being my protective refuge.
I’m not dreading what I may face later tonight, but I’m gearing up and preparing my heart to go to battle. I’ll seek shelter in God’s presence by voicing praise and lifting up worship in the midst of the vicious attack.
I will trust in my mighty warrior:
[box]“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)[/box]
What fears are you facing today?
How are you battling your fear?
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