When I am Afraid

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What is making you afraid today?

Are you worried that you or loved ones are going to contract COVID-19? Are you afraid that you will not find another job after having recently been laid off? Are you worried that your small business will not survive the current global economic crisis?  Do you feel fear creeping in when you least expect it? Sometimes even a paralyzing or numbing type of fear?

Fear can make us think and do things that are irrational. When crippling fear settles into our soul it will make us carriers of fear – in the same way COVID-19 makes a person sick and contagious. Fear is also harmful to our body, soul and spirit. Fear is contagious and it can easily spread if we are not watchful and proactive in protecting ourselves. What you fear most is also where Satan often targets you the most. The devil is the accuser of believers and father of lies, who lives to kill, steal and destroy God’s creation. There is no truth found in the devil our enemy (John 8:44). He fans the flame of fear in order to ravage our minds and our faith in God. Our enemy wants us to believe in his lies instead of in the character and promises of God. Satan wants us to believe that God does not exist, or that He is either a powerless or an s unloving god who is distant from us in times of trouble.

God is not far from His people: Jesus promised His disciples to, “…be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age…” (Matt. 28:20). God is also not powerless; he is all-powerful (Ephesians 1:19). God is not distant and indifferent; he cares for us as a good parent for his children (1 Peter 5:7).

Sometimes it can feel as if God is distant but that is because we become nearsighted and cannot see what God is up to, or because we are listening to the wrong voices and God’s voice has become unclear to us. We need to keep repositioning our ears to hear His voice. God’s voice is always comforting and soothing to the soul of His followers. It expels fear and brings faith. The Words of Christ are spirit and they are life to all who receive them (John 6:63). When God’s people hear His voice, they will follow Him. He gives them eternal life; they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of His hand (John 10:27-28).

King David is an example of a person who was after God’s own heart, but also faced many fears and fought every one of them by trusting in God.

When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?

(Psalm 56:3–4)

David starts by uttering the words, “When I am afraid…” He admits that the danger, the trial, the fear is real. He does not deny being afraid. He confesses, “I am afraid” and makes his inner turmoil known. We too cannot deny that our fears about the current epidemic are real. The fears of unemployment, lack of provision for our families, sickness and death are all real.

But we do not need to stay afraid for long. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you… in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.” I am afraid for a brief period of time, but I know who to turn to when fear knocks on the door of my heart. And when I cast my fears and worries on Him, He takes away all my fears. I shall not be afraid nor be discouraged, for the LORD my God will be with me wherever I go and whatever I go through.

David put his faith in the living God. He chose to put his trust and even his praise in God’s word. We are called to anchor our hope and faith in God and His faithful promises. God is not like a man or the devil that He should lie to us (Numbers 23:19). God calls us to bring Him our agony and yearning and fear and walk away with His peace, comfort and wisdom.

When I am afraid, I run to you God as my place of refuge and cling to every word of yours. Instead of focusing and obsessing on the terrifying storm in front of me, I set my eyes and ears on what you have said to those who love you. You say: “I am for you”. And if God is for you, who, or what can be against you? (Romans 8:31) Suddenly, the storm I am facing no longer seems threatening because the One who is greater is with me and you are telling me “I am for you” and to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).