“Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
Fear is a paralyzing emotion. Most people who live in fear find themselves hibernating or running from that thing which they fear. The problem with fear is that it is the opposite of faith. You cannot do for God what He wants you to do or what He commands you to do if you live in fear. Fear keeps the soul winner from going soul winning. Fear keeps the missionary from going to the mission field. Fear keeps the evangelist from going into full-time evangelism. Fear keeps the saint from being faithful to church in times of fear. Fear is the paralyzing agent that Satan uses to keep God’s people from performing works of faith. As long as the believer lives in fear, they will never do the works of faith that please God.
Fear is a feeling that something wrong is going to happen. Fear is an emotion that is the result of inaction. Fear is the result of living in the “what-ifs.” Fear is an anxiety caused by reading into the false reports of what “might” happen tomorrow. When a person lives in fear, they are living in a make-believe world of what might happen tomorrow. Simply put, fear is a fantasy world of calamity. Sadly, most of what we fear never happens, and it keeps us from becoming what God wants us to be.
The psalmist says in the verse above, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” God is showing us that there will be times when we are afraid. There will be circumstances that dictate that we should be afraid. There will be times when hope seems to vanish. There will be times when we listen and focus on the wrong sources, which results in fear controlling our lives. There are four things that God tells the believer to do when they are afraid.
First, trust God. What are you to trust about God? You are to trust God’s Word that has never failed. You are to trust God’s promises that have always come true. You are to trust God’s resume that shows He has never forsaken His children. God is simply saying that you are to trust the absolutes in your life and not the unknowns. God is the only absolute in your life who knows what your tomorrow holds.
Second, when you are afraid, pray. This psalm is a prayer to God. Prayer has a way of calming the fears of life. Too many people are living in fear and allowing fear to keep them from the closet of prayer that will calm those fear. Prayer is where you cast your cares upon the LORD. Prayer is where you gain the confidence that God is still God. Prayer is where you divorce yourself from the voices of fear to see the omnipotence of a mighty God. What time you are afraid, you need to run to God in prayer.
Third, praise God when you are afraid. Verse 4 says, “In God I will praise his word…” Prayer and praise is the way the believer sticks their finger in the eye of fear and tells it to shut up. You will be amazed how praise gives you the confidence to continue; however, you will never be able to praise God if you don’t spend time with Him in prayer.
Fourth, what time you are afraid; step out by faith. Faith is an action, and faith pulls you out of the doldrums of fear and gets you to focus on God while you serve Him. My friend, fear will destroy your future. Stop letting fear destroy you and step out by faith and watch God humiliate fear with His power working through you.