Can you make a list of your fears? I think I could make a list of mine but I’d rather not, especially not publicly! I have them, I battle them, but I’d rather not consciously dwell on them or make myself vulnerable by sharing them openly.
But if we’re honest, our fears drive our everyday choices. We do our best to steer our lives away from situations or people that may trigger our fears or make them a reality. We see them coming and we do all we can to avoid them, sometimes even choosing sin to avoid the pain of fears realized. Fear grows and consumes and sometimes, sometimes, it’s all we can see.
Here is what fear looks like when it’s all we see. It’s a loose version of Psalm 27, devoid of hope, joy, and truth, and sadly an accurate depiction of our lives when fear is in control.
The world is dark. I’m in need of being saved from it.
There are many in this world who make me fearful.
The wicked are on their way to consume me;
I have many enemies and foes.
I feel surrounded by a host of enemies.
War will easily break out against me.
I feel alone in this world and doomed to see evil and trouble all my days.
I want only one thing, to be free from all that would cause me fear.
When I’m in trouble I will find nowhere to hide. I will be exposed, unsafe.
My enemies will find me and I will be destroyed.
Those who hurt me will win.
Tears and anguish will be all I can express.
I will be overwhelmed by pain and mourning,
Unable to be of any use to God.
God won’t even hear me when I cry.
If He is calling me, I sure can’t hear Him
Above the din of my taunting circumstances.
I see nothing but failure and loss.
God’s face is hidden from me,
Surely He is angry with me. He has failed me,
Just like my parents failed me.
I can’t learn new ways, it’s too hard and I’m overwhelmed.
Liars accuse me falsely. They are so cruel to me.
I have given up hope, God. They have won.
The evil of today will be the same tomorrow.
Pain and trouble dominate my life and God has deserted me.
I might as well be distracted from my fear and
Take care of myself the best way I can,
Because life is tough and then you die.
– Fear 101
Now, look at this accurate version, written by a man who had all the same reasons to fear, but chose to tell himself the truth from God instead of the lies that fear tells us. Notice all the good things in it, the sure anticipation we are to have but too often forget – good is coming! God is good! He loves us!
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
He will keep me safe in his dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at His sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me,
My heart says of you, “Seek His face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
– Psalm 27
So, dear ones, keep your eyes on the truth, not the lies. Pray for courage, wait on God, seek His face! Keep your eyes on winning the race – you are NOT losing the battle! Look for His goodness today, in the land of the living!
by Jill Cristao, Director of Connections and Communications
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