Read Psalm 56
Focus on verse 3
We don’t often admit it, and we don’t like to talk about, but we all know what it is like to be afraid. Fear can do strange things to a person. It is a feeling that can come upon us at strange times for strange reasons. It can make one feel rather silly when one catches him or her self glancing over a shoulder, or walking a little faster; yet it is difficult not to give in to it. When is the last time you pulled your legs up into the bed just a little quicker than normal…in order to escape the jaws of the imagined monster that lurks among the dust bunnies down there? Come on now…if you are honest it probably was not that long ago.
The things that make us afraid change as we grow older, but the effect fear has on us remains consistent. The adrenaline, the quickened heart rate, the fight or flight mode kicks in, and it becomes tempting to run and hide. All through my childhood and teen years and even as a young adult I was highly influenced by peer pressure. Essentially I was afraid of what people around me would think of me, and it often made me very self-conscious of how I was dressed, what I was saying, and how I should act. I’m sure there were times when this fear made me dress and act in ways that seemed weird to those around me because it caused me to attempt to alter who I was. I always envied those people who seemed to be able to just be who they were – not caring what others thought of them.
I do not remember exactly when it was that it began, but I clearly remember the day when I realized that I was no longer afraid. This was a tremendously freeing realization, because it finally allowed me to be comfortable with being who I really was…with becoming the person God had created me to be. I believe a large part of overcoming this fear, had to do with learning how to put my trust in God. In my case it really came down to understanding that it really didn’t matter all that much what most people thought of me…what mattered most was what God thought of me. Understanding the reality and extent of God’s love for me played a big part in arriving at the conclusion that I did not have to literally be afraid of God in order to fulfill the biblical command to “fear God”.
David found his courage to face frightening situations by trusting that God was there to help him through it. When I was able to understand that the same God who was there for David, was also there for me, it was a rather overwhelming realization.
This same God is also there for you or anyone else who will choose to place his or her trust in Him. When we place our trust in God we have no reason to be afraid.