Fear Factor

Today’s scripture: Psalm 56:3-4 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

When I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

The daily grind. . . Does it consume you with various fears from day to day? Fear of being accepted by others, fear of performing your job to your boss’s satisfaction, fear of pleasing your partner, fear of being alone, fear of receiving a devastating health diagnosis, fear of death itself.

You are not alone. The Bible is filled with stories of people’s fears.

Jacob feared that his brother would take revenge on him (Genesis 27:41-45) but he was saved from this fate and promised a fruitful life by God (Genesis 28:12-15).

Moses had a great fear of public speaking (Exodus 4:1, 10-13) but obeyed God’s many commands to speak with Pharaoh and ultimately served as the vessel to lead the Israelites out of captivity (Exodus 7:1-4, Exodus 12:31-32).

The Israelites feared that the plans of their leader, Moses, were insufficient and that their lives were doomed (Exodus 14:10-12) but soon discovered that they were saved from the Egyptians after all (Exodus 14:13-14, 21-22, 30).

Solomon was afraid that he would be a bad leader (I Kings 3:7-9) but through prayer, heard God’s answer assuring him of a reign filled with great wisdom (I Kings 3:10-14).

Hezekiah was very ill and feared death (II Kings 20:1-3) but was healed by God’s mighty hand (II Kings 20:4-6).

Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, feared what people would think of him and his unthinkable family situation (Matthew 1:18-19) but was persuaded to stand by his family through it all (Matthew 1:20-21).

Jesus’ disciples were afraid to ask dumb questions (Mark 9:30-32) and had to wait until the resurrection to more fully comprehend the meaning behind Jesus’ teaching (Mark 16:15-16, 20).

S/Paul feared that people would not believe his teachings, and in turn the people were, indeed, afraid to believe him (Acts 9:19b-20, 26) but with time the people of Jerusalem learned to trust in the witness he gave (Acts 15:12, 22).

Fear is a natural response to change, but it is often God working for that change. Dig in and endure, believe and have faith, and know that God will never leave you or forsake you.

Thought for the day:

Surely God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
(Isaiah 12:2)

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.