Others are afraid of the present. They’re afraid of crime, failure, success, being overwhelmed, other people, etc. Still others are afraid of the future. They’re afraid they won’t survive and that the future holds far more “doom and gloom” than it does delight and gladness.
Ann Landers wrote an advice column for over 40 years, and she once stated that she received more requests for help with fear than for any other topic that she addressed. Someone once told me that there are numerous definitions of phobias (fears) in our English dictionary, indicating how much fear is a part of our present-day lives. Fear is one of the great maladies and misfortunes of our day.
Question – “What kind of fears do you struggle with?” We all struggle with different fears at different times in our lives. The Psalmist tells us how to overcome fear in Psalm 34. To begin with He tells us to focus on “praising the Lord at all times” and “boasting in the Lord.” How do these activities help us overcome fear in our lives? When we are focused on “praising the Lord” and “boasting in the Lord” we are taking the focus off of the frailty of ourselves and our fearful circumstances and situations, and putting our focus on the One who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present.
Secondly, the Psalmist tells us that we are to “exalt the name of the Lord together.” Once again, we are to be focused on the Lord’s greatness which takes our focus off of ourselves and our inadequacies, and we are to worship and exalt the Lord in conjunction with other believers. This reminds us that when we are worshipping and serving the Lord with other believers, we are much less prone to fear and failure in our lives.
Thirdly, the Psalmist tells us that when we pray to the Lord, “He answers us, freeing us from all our fears.” There’s something about praying to the Lord, hearing from the Lord and entrusting Him with our burdens and concerns that causes us to know that we don’t have to live in fear any longer. That’s one reason that we should be daily praying to and exalting the Lord so that we can hear from the Lord.
Question – “Do you know what the most frequent command in the Bible is?” It’s not to worship, serve or give to the Lord , although those actions are extremely important. The most frequent command in the Bible is for believers to “fear not – and put their trust in the Lord.” In the Bible, 366 times we are given this command and promise. So that’s one promise for every day of the year – even on leap years. Therefore, according to the Lord we should not live one day of the year paralyzed by fear. And we won’t have to as long as we are exalting the Lord, praying to the Lord, and hearing from the Lord.
As you pray today: 1) Ask the Lord to reveal to you all of the “fears” that you struggle with in your life; 2) Confess those “fears” to the Lord, asking Him to remove those “fears” and fill you with faith; and 3) Ask the Lord to show you what you need to do to live by faith rather than by fear on a daily basis. We can daily pray to the Lord, and He can daily answer us and free us from all our fears!