By Adam Faughn
It might seem strange that the first bulletin article of 2020 deals with fear, but many people struggle this time of year with this emotion. As they face a New Year, they might fear health issues or job uncertainty. Some simply fear failing in the resolutions they have made.
There is a sense in which some fear is a good thing. Fear is a natural instinct that, at times in life, keeps us from dangers that could truly harm us.
We also know, however, that the Bible speaks of certain types of fear in a negative light. These fears and anxieties are the types of things that draw our trust away from God, and that let the things of this world have a hold on us that is simply not right.
Psalm 56 was penned at a time when David was fighting to overcome fear. Near the outset of that poem, he stated that he had “an attacker” (verse 1) and that his enemies were trampling him “all day long” (verse 2). It would have only been natural and understandable to have a certain level of fear in those circumstances! (For the historical background to this poem, read 1 Samuel 21:8-15).
How can we overcome such fear? In the midst of the poem, David wrote, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (verses 3-4)
Those beautiful and faith-filled lines give us three steps to help in overcoming fear.
Step 1: Trust God. Often, when we fear, it is because we begin to take our eyes off of God and His unending power. We need to trust Him, no matter what enemies and struggles we face. After all, He is the only One who is truly Almighty!Fears will come, even in this New Year. How we face them and overcome them is what matters. Will you face and overcome them with God, or will you let fears get the best of you?
Step 2: Lift Up the Word of God. We need to have God’s Word in our hearts before difficulties come, so we can rely on its precious promises when we face times of discomfort. It offers us “comfort,” among so many other things (see Romans 15:4).
Step 3: Remember Human Limitations. “What can flesh do to me?” Enemies may have certain advantages, but they are still just flesh, as we are. Even if they completely take away our life, what victory have they really won? They cannot cost us our soul unless we let them.
- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org