Being afraid isn’t a failure. And it’s not the final word over your life. It’s an opportunity to learn how to not live afraid.
— Key scriptures in this episode:
- Psalm 56:3, 10-11
- 1 John 4:4
Today, we are going to take a “Posture of Peace” by recognizing that being afraid is actually an opportunity to learn how to not live afraid.
Posture is a short, audible fist bump to remind you God is with you in everything. Together, we’re going to be emboldened to take a daily Posture of perfect peace.
In Psalm 56:3, David writes this to the Lord. He says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Now David wrote Psalm 56, when he was captured at Gath by the Philistines. And you can read all about the wild and crazy situation that David was in during this time by reading 1 Samuel 21. David is basically running scared here, the place that he was once welcomed and celebrated, King Saul’s household, has become a death trap due to Saul’s jealousy of him. And it’s totally unjust and definitely not fair, but it’s what David finds himself in. And he actually runs to enemy territory. Gath was the hometown of the giant Goliath that David had killed. So he’s definitely recognized when he’s there and he totally panics, and you really should go read more of the story today.
But here’s what I wanna focus on from this Psalm, David was afraid, this is the giant slayer. This is the same kid who killed a lion and a bear. He had been anointed king. He had experienced the power and the presence of God in his life and yet he’s afraid because he finds himself in a situation that quite frankly does not add up. It doesn’t match the promises of God over his life. It’s totally unjust, completely unfair. It’s definitely confusing cause he goes from hero to zero, all of a sudden, and it’s shaken David up a bit. You know, when you think about what fear is, it’s this all like state, it’s this sense of being totally overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure that David was feeling this, not just mentally, but emotionally and physically. I’m sure his cortisol levels were through the roof. His mind was probably raising, his emotions I’m sure we’re all over the place. And it’s in that state of total crisis and chaos, David says, “You know what, Lord, I am not gonna be in more of this situation than I am of you. I’m gonna put my trust in you.”
When I read Psalm 56, I see the transfer of David’s overwhelm taking place. It’s like, he’s saying, God, I am not going to be overwhelmed by the injustice, I’m going to be overwhelmed by your mercy. God, I’m not gonna be overwhelmed by people’s violence towards me, I’m going to be overwhelmed by your kindness towards me. God, I’m not gonna be overwhelmed by what has been said about me or what has been said to me, I’m going to be overwhelmed by your word over my life. God, I’m not going to be overwhelmed by the fear that I’m currently feeling right now, I’m going to be overwhelmed by your faithfulness. God, I don’t know why this is happening, but I know you and I know that’s enough. David had been anointed king. He was a warrior and he still had to deal with fear. Even after many victories. You know, I used to feel such shame for being afraid. Like something must be wrong with me or my connection with God must be broken somehow. And if you felt this way too, I have such good news for you today, fear doesn’t change your identity. Fear does not change who you are. Your being afraid doesn’t change who God is and who he has empowered you to be. Your circumstance, good, bad, or ugly doesn’t change your stance with God. You are in Christ and he is in you.
1 John 4:4 says, “Greater is He, that is in you than he, that is in the world.” So being afraid isn’t a failure and it’s not the final word over your life. It’s an opportunity, it’s training for reigning. In crisis and chaos and confusion, you have an opportunity to make the transfer, to turn your all towards God and be totally overwhelmed by him. In verses 10 and 11 in Psalm 56, David writes this. He says, “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord whose word I praise, in God I trust, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” You know, David’s saying here, I may be afraid right now, but I don’t have to stay afraid. I don’t have to live afraid. This isn’t my destiny. Who is with me is greater than what’s coming against me right now. And just like David, you are called to rule and reign. It’s your kingdom identity. If you keep reading David’s story after he leaves Gath, you’ll see, there is a lot of life before he actually becomes the king he was anointed to be. There’s gonna be some cave dwelling, more betrayal, loss, and more being afraid. But each fear inducing circumstance that David faces is really just another opportunity for him to transfer his all away from the circumstance back over to God until he becomes so overwhelmed by the majesty of God, that he cannot be overwhelmed by anything else. And that is the life of being more than a conqueror. And it’s the life you’ve been empowered by Jesus Christ to live.
So I wanna encourage you to put your trust in God today. And here’s something to remember, trust is not a feeling, it’s a decision. So make the decision right now and then move forward in that decision at every opportunity. And you can do this by thanking God, by worshiping God, by reading his word, by talking with him in prayer. You may feel afraid right now, but you don’t have to stay afraid and you definitely don’t have to live afraid because the one who loves you most has set you free from fear and has made you more than a conqueror.