Fear is in the saddle. Individuals and nations—none have escaped its onslaughts or its subtle influence. The threat of nuclear war hangs over our heads. Economic pressures, terrorism and violence have led one analyst to indicate that many people today are “living scared.”
The greatest saints have had their halos tarnished as they experienced negative fears. Abraham fled to Egypt when he faced famine. Moses tried to cop-out from God’s call by claiming inability to communicate. David, the killer of Goliath, knew something of fear. Elijah towered among the prophets, yet when his life was threatened by Jezebel, he fled. Repeatedly we read of the strongly expressed fear of the disciples, in spite of having walked and talked with Jesus and having witnessed His many miracles.
Someone has said that fear prepares you for three Fs—flight, fight, or freeze. The negative type of fear disrupts the normal process of living to the extent that it can eventually destroy the individual.
It is never the intention or plan of God for His born-again children to move about with a fearful heart. From Genesis to Revelation God’s message has been “Fear not!” From Paul comes the statement: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
In Psalm 27, the palmist is bold to testify of his trust in the Lord and his power to deliver: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (v. 1). What a difference when fear assails if we have a strong sense of security, an assurance that we don’t stand alone; that we have resources which are superior to our own and, more important, to our antagonist the devil. God is in control.
The force of David’s confidence of freedom from fear is underscored by his use of the name Lord, the name that is written in many translations with all capital letters. This name of God, Jehovah, was so awesome among the children of Israel that for centuries they were forbidden to use it. David, in Psalm 27, uses this name 13 times. David knew wherein his strength and power and deliverance, even from fear, lay.
With David, we can confidently ask the rhetorical question, “Whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?” The implied answer comes thundering back,
“No one! Absolutely no one! He is in control.”
Edward Deratany, The War Cry