Today’s reading is drawn from Psalm 27.
THINK ABOUT the last time you were intimidated. For me, it would have to be an occasion in which I’ve been in a courtroom. Just the setting is enough to intimidate me. Surely you have people or situations that intimidate you. We all do. Even intimidating people are fearful. Individuals who seem to be the epitome of self-confidence could easily be hiding inside their hearts caged little boys and girls who are scared but are afraid to say so.
I am afraid you will miss some of the best things God has for you if you run rather than wait on Him. Let me give you an effective way to handle fear:
As fears occur, admit them. Say, “I am fearful of _________” and identify it. Tell someone close to you, “I’m facing this situation and I’m afraid of _________.” If you have no one around, acknowledge your fear be-fore God.
As you admit fears, commit them. Commit your fear to God. That’s what David does in prayer when he says, “The one thing I ask of the LORD . . .” (Ps. 27:4). By committing your fears to God, you’re trusting Him with the outcome.
As you commit fears, release them. Don’t hold on to your fears. God says, “I heard you and I understand, so I’ll take your fears.” Release them to Him. You have to do this a day at a time. You can’t give Him a certain fear once for all time. It’s a daily decision, a part of your continuing walk with God.
As you release fears, resist them. God has said, “I’m here. I’ll take it. I have heard what you had to say, and I will support you.” Since you have that promise from the Lord, you must resist fears when they want to come back. Fears get lonely—that’s my way of putting it—and they want to come back home to rest. But you have released them, and they no longer have a home. Don’t let them back in.
As you resist fears, stand firm! That’s why David says at the end of this psalm, “Be brave and courageous” (Ps. 27:14).
I once got the following letter:
Two years ago this week I tried to commit suicide. To this day only six people know about the incident. Tonight I came to the service hurting deeply. The old despair and sense of hopelessness seemed to take hold of me again. The circumstances that triggered my action two years ago have not changed. There’s really no one around with whom I can share these feelings, because most of the people I know could not handle it. Tonight, while lonely, afraid, and quite desperate, I heard God’s Word for me through your message. Now I can hold on, for He has pitched a tent over me, protecting me from the blast.
There’s nothing magical about standing firm. It’s a decision of bravery that you make. I admire this person for admitting fear, committing it to God, working on releasing it, resisting it, and standing firm.
As long as you live, God has a purpose for you. But it isn’t always glamorous and productive and beautiful. Stand strong. Don’t give in to fear. God is right there, and He will never abandon you—regardless of how you feel.
[call out text: As long as you live, God has a purpose for you. Don’t give in to fear.]