In the old show, Fear Factor, contestants would come face to face with extreme and bizarre challenges. In the end the contestant that successfully faced their fears and overcame the challenges emerged as the winner and the host would say, “fear is not a factor for you!” Exciting stuff!
But, truthfully, fear is a factor for us all. It is one of the enemy’s most used tactics. It keeps us from truly walking in the things of God. It can stop us cold in our tracks and keep us right where we are with no hope of moving forward. We’ve heard all of these things before. But what HOPE can we give someone who is truly afraid? David shares His heart in Psalm 56. This beautiful song, filled with transparency, can bring hope to anyone who feels fearful.
Psalm 56 was written during a time when David was running from Saul. He ran to the Philistines. He fled from one enemy to escape another! David found himself in an overwhelming crisis! This account is found in 1 Samuel 21:10-15.
David fled from Saul because he was afraid. David acted like a madman to escape the Philistine king because he was afraid.
David was afraid.
And sometimes, so are we.
In the Bible study Trustworthy, author Lysa Terkeusrt makes this profound statement, “I can sometimes feel afraid, but I don’t have to live afraid.” Yes! Fear is something we all feel at times. We can’t, however, allow fear to consume us. Before we allow fear to paralyze us, we can reach to Our Father.
Psalm 56:3-4 shows two coexisting realities for David, fear and trust. Yes, coexisting. David says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” David couples two thoughts to combat the fear he felt.
The two thoughts could read like this:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
Because I trust in You I will not be afraid.
David doesn’t deny that fear exists. Instead he tells us what to do when we feel fear—trust. That trust in the middle of a storm leads a courageous life—because I trust You, I will not be afraid.
Let’s read Psalms 56:3-4 again, in The Voice Translation—
When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone.
In God I place my trust, I shall not let fear come in.
Courageous living is not the result of the absence of fear, but it is the result of confident trust in God even when we ARE afraid. Leaning and depending on the only One who calms my fears blocks out the fears that attempt to destroy my security.
Is fear a factor for you? If so trust God!
Pour out your heart to God! Tell Him what you are feeling. Run to Him, trust Him and then fear will no longer be a factor for you.