Stomped-on and Slapped-down

FEAR Over the last couple of weeks international news has focused on the missing Malaysian plane. Whenever the camera captured the faces of the family members, they were wrinkled with lines of agony. The fear of death had left them terrified and frightened.

Fear, terror, grief, and anxiety are emotions that are herculean in nature–strong emotions that wrestle us to the floor of our soul. Emotions like these are generally associated with loss that is either real or threatened.

David must have been in a situation like this when he wrote Psalm 56:1-2: “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.”

You may have had times in your life when you could identify with David. You know what it is like to have a week of Mondays: It seems like you can’t get ahead because you’ve been stomped-on and slapped-down every time you try to do something.

When you feel like you’re down to the last straw and you want to avoid and withdraw from your problems and problem-makers, do what David did. He re-evaluated his resources: “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 (Ps. 56:3-4)?

I know there are at least 63 different places in the Bible where the words “Fear not” are found. In Isaiah 41:10, God said: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

At some point in life, fears must be faced. The more you allow your fear to define you, the more it will confine you. According to Paul, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (I Tim. 1:7).”

When you look through the pages of the Bible, fear is usually the result of disobeying a command or disregarding a promise. In the first situation, a person disobeys because he thinks his reasoning is better than God’s, and in the second, he thinks the resources of God are insufficient.

Here is a tip to help you face your fear: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!” (Proverbs 3:5-7, The Message)

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