When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 ESV
- Do not lie
- Help the hurting
- Love you neighbor
- Love your spouse
Each of these, and many, many more commands in scripture are important. Yet I find it interesting the most repeated command in scripture to you and I is, “fear not”, or “do not be afraid.” We are given this command over 100 times in the Bible. David obviously understood this and maybe more than anyone. Consider the situations he faced over his lifetime. As a young boy he had to fight off dangerous animals threatening his flock of sheep. Later, and still as a teenager, he squared off in an epic battle with Goliath. At one point he was forced to run for his life to the mountains and caves surrounding his hometown as so many people were out to kill him. Still later, he faced an uncertain future because of evil plotting family members. David was a mighty warrior yet he knew his strength did not come from within, his salvation was not his own, his life was not in his own hands, it all belonged to God. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
For most of us today, we are not going to face off against a giant, square off against a dangerous beast, of be forced to survive while evading capture and certain death. Our struggles are going to be with more common fears such as, finances, job uncertainty, a job interview, having a difficult conversation with a friend or loved one, or maybe just the fear of being alone. Being an outdoor educator as well, I see people facing fears all the time; getting lost, wild animals, heights, rushing water, the dark, and the list goes on. Fear, however, provides such a great learning opportunity, whether in day to day life or in the backcountry, for something called faith.
David knew all about it. The Bible repeats it. Faith is seeing things that have not yet been realized as if they already have, regardless of our circumstance.
The other day I was reading a post written by Sandi Krakowski. I have never met Sandi but I enjoy reading her lessons on faith, business, leadership and living out daily life. She made the following statements in her post, “Fear is faith in the wrong god. Fear and faith cannot co-exist. Fear is false evidence appearing real, an allegiance to the wrong Kingdom. Fear exits, when faith is the habitual choice.”
She hit the nail on the head. When we focus on fear we take our focus off the One who said, “Fear not.”. We are reminded in 2 Timothy 1:7, “ for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” We cannot escape uncertainty, risk, and hardship in our lives but we can choose how we face these circumstances. When we choose to face them under our own power we give way to fear. When we place these circumstances in God’s hands, we give way to faith.
As Sandi said, make faith the habitual choice. Follow the lead of David who says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” And should you need reminding, there are enough “fear nots” and “do not be afraids” in the Bible you can have at least two for every week of the year. More than enough for most of us, even if we only need to believe it once.