Fear has no place in the heart of God’s children. Even when attacked by those who belittle us for our belief, even when tragedy strikes, even when things appear darkest. I know that this is easier said than done. It is possible when we trust God and are confident that what He said He will do,He will do.
In this Psalm David gives us the way forward in the face of very difficult circumstances, and that is to seek God's presence and to wait in confidence for His deliverance. He expresses this process by starting the Psalm with joyful confidence which moves to anxious fear back to joyful confidence in his waiting waiting.
Fear is one of the strongest weapons that Satan uses against us in spiritual warfare. Worry, anxiety, fear…can overwhelm us and either paralyze us or control every move and decision we make. In doing a research for a post on fear that I wrote in 2015 (Fear Not Is A Command), I saw a lot of references to “"fear not"” being in the bible 365 days, or one “"fear not"” for everyday in the year. In conducting additional research I found that in the context of instructing us not to be afraid of circumstances, or to not fear following a command or instruction of God, the phrase is only used about 80 times. Other phrases that would be equal to “"fear not"” like; “do not be afraid, “do not fear”, or “be not afraid” appear about 30 times. While there is disagreement on exactly how many times we are told to “"fear not"”, the fact that we are told to not fear anyone or any circumstance other than God Himself.
Luke 12:4-7 (NLT)4 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that.5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Jesus promises his presence and with it his peace.
John 16:33 (NLT)33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
David prayed for God’s presence in this Psalm. Our prayer today should be;Jesus, help me to give fear no foothold in my life. Fill me with your presence and your peace. Amen.