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October 24, 2017

Overcoming Your Fears

“Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless….” Psalm 112:6b-8a (NLT)

Imagine living a life without fear! That’s the description of those who only fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord is a reverent and holy fear. It is a deep respect for who God is and what He can do. Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In fact, if we have a healthy fear of God, we can live without the fears that trouble most of our lives. In this Psalm, the Bible says such people do not fear bad news. That’s a fear that haunts so many people today. Feeling like they live in a house of cards, they wonder when it will all coming crashing down. How can we conquer our fears? Faith overcomes fear. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s acting despite my fears. Faith enables me to do that. The Psalmist says that those who confidently trust the LORD to care for them … do not fear bad news! They are confident and fearless…. What a promise to claim! Wouldn’t you like to live your life like that? You can! How? In another Psalm, the Bible says:

“The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; He will help me.” Psalm 118:6-7 (NLT)

This is a disposition of faith, a confidence in God’s unconditional love for me. What do you put your confidence in?  Pilots put their confidence in their planes. Commuters place their confidence in trains, cars, or buses. Each day, we must put our confidence in something or someone. If you are willing to trust a plane or a car to get you to your destination, are you willing to trust God to guide you here on earth and to your eternal destination?

When you get into a plane, how much effort do you exercise to fly? None! It would look really funny if you began flapping your arms. The flight attendants would probably usher you out of the plane before it took off! The only effort you make is to sit back, buckle your seat belt, and relax. You simply let the plane fly you to your destination. The more you fly, the less conscious you become of the faith you are exercising in that plane to fly you. When we put our faith in God, we can relax in the all-sufficient arms of a Heavenly Father who holds us in the palm of His hand! He’s got it all under control! We don’t even have to be afraid of bad news. Does that mean that bad things won’t happen? Faith isn’t some vaccination that inoculates us from bad things. This is a fallen world, and few get out alive and unscathed; but, we don’t have to live in fear. We can live in faith, trusting our Heavenly Father to keep what we have committed unto Him. The Psalmist gives us a practical way to handle our fears in Psalm 56:3-4. It was written by King David, who was a mighty man of God and a courageous soldier that led the armies of Israel with great victories. Even he struggled with fear; but, as he grew in faith, he found a way to conquer those fears. What did he do? He said,

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You. I praise God for what He has promised.  I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  What can mere mortals do to me?”

When David felt afraid, rather than panic, he prayed and reassured himself with the promises of God. When bad news comes into your life, you have a choice. You can panic or you can turn to God in prayer, trusting His promises that He loves you and will never leave you nor forsake you. Put your confidence in God and live fearlessly!