But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. – Psalm 56:3 NLT
Have you ever been ashamed or embarrassed about something you were afraid of?
Two years ago, I started having stomach pains after every meal. I’ve been a healthy eater for the last four years, so I wasn’t sure what was causing it. After a few weeks, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to the doctor to find out what was wrong.
For two months, I went through several tests, medications, and diet changes to get to the root of what was happening. That season of waiting was terrifying for me.
Because I’m a pastor, I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone I was scared about what was happening to me. (The irony is not lost on me here.) I was worried people would judge me and think I didn’t have the faith a pastor is “supposed” to have.
You don’t have to be a pastor to worry others might think your faith is weak if you open up to them about your fears.
Sometimes as believers, we think if we’re experiencing fear in our lives, it’s because we’re spiritually anemic or caught up in some sin. But the truth is fear is a normal human reaction to the problems in our lives that some of the greatest believers who ever walked the planet went through.
In Psalm 56:3, David writes, “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” David wrote these words during a season of his life when he was captured by the Philistines, whose champion he had defeated (1 Samuel 17), and wasn’t sure if he would come out of it alive.
Notice that he doesn’t write, “If I am afraid,” but “When I am afraid.” David, the man who killed lions, bears, and giants and led armies into battle, was afraid. He acknowledged the fear in his own life and chose to trust God. He realized that trust doesn’t eliminate fear. Instead, it allows us to shift our focus from our situation to our Savior who gives us the strength we need for what’s ahead.
What fear are you dealing with in your life? The fear of a diagnosis? How you’re going to pay this month’s rent? Is your marriage going to make it? Or how you’re going to get everything done this week? Whatever it is, know that God isn’t disappointed in you or mad at you; He wants to be there for you. The Lord understands what you’re going through and wants to give you His power to tackle your problems. So, just like David turned to God in his time of fear, you can too.
You don’t need to be afraid of being afraid. Instead, cast all your worries on the Lord because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Look for other believers who can come alongside you and help you shoulder the load you’re carrying (Galatians 6:2). Carve out time to spend with Jesus each day so you can find the rest that only He can provide (Matthew 11:28-30).
Being afraid isn’t something you need to be scared or ashamed of. It’s something we all go through. But, as a believer, you don’t have to go through this alone. Your Heavenly Father is there for you 24/7 and will never turn you away.
1. Where are you experiencing fear in your life? How does knowing that God isn’t mad or disappointed in you when you are afraid help you to find strength in Him?
2. Make a list of everything you’re afraid or worried about. Then, go to the Lord in prayer for each item and ask for His help. Then, tear up that list to release your fears to Him.