Fear is crippling. Fear robs us of seizing opportunities. Fear cuts short the abundant life God desires for us to have. One definition of fear captures it well: F.E.A.R is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Oversized fears can turn into what psychologists call phobias. One website actually lists 543 unique phobias!
Where does this fear come from? Why are so many plagued by fears?
I believe the answer is found in this: fearful people aren’t looking far enough ahead. They are looking at their fears, and not the Champion of their fears.
King David knew what it was to have assassins stalking him, to be on the run for his life, to not know if someone was a friend or foe, to not even know where he was going to sleep at night. So he begins his second song of ascent with this thought: “If the Lord had not been on our side, here’s a list of really bad things that would have happened to us.”
Notice the “if” statements. David is not saying “if there were no God,” of “if God didn’t care for us.” In other words, David is clearly saying that God exists, and that God is for us!
I like this—Oh, blessed be God! He didn’t go off and leave us. He didn’t abandon us defenseless, helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs (v. 6, in The Message).
David is not telling us how to escape our fears, but to begin celebrating that we have already been freed from our fears!
We seem to think that satan and Jesus are still duking it out, that the outcome of the struggle is still up for grabs. I’ve got fantastic news: Jesus already won! He is already the Champion!!
We’ve flown free from their fangs, free of their traps, free as a bird. Their grip is broken; we’re free as a bird in flight (v. 7, The Message).
Speaking of birds flying free, J.B. Figgis wrote, “Do you find yourself asking, ‘But am I to step out onto nothing?’ That is exactly what the bird is seemingly asked to do, yet we know that the air is there and that the air is not nearly as insubstantial as it seems. And you know that the promises of God are there, and they certainly are not insubstantial at all” (emphasis added).
What fears plague you? Jesus has already set you free from that. The battle has already been won. You just need to find the promise of God in the Bible that tells you how He has canceled that fear.
Now begin to swing that promise like a sword at your fear every time it raises its ugly head! Stop being crippled by your fear, and lift your eyes up to the Maker of heaven and earth who has set you free!
Check out my full message on this song of ascent—