(Psalm 56: 8-11) 8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
When I was in the second grade, I checked out a book from the school library called Scary Stories to tell in the Dark. I knew it was a bad idea but I did it anyway. I had seen it at the book fair and was not allowed to purchase it, so I thought I would just sneak and check it out. My curious nature got best of me. That night, I curled up in my bed with a flashlight and the book and I read the entire thing. As you can probably guess, I couldn’t get to sleep. I had entertained fear and now every noise and every movement, to me, was a ghost or demon. I was too afraid to move, paralyzed by my own imagination, and eventually I had to call out to my dad to come and “help” me. We both lost sleep that night, and I got into a lot of trouble!
Isn’t that how it is with us, even as adults? We allow fear to inhabit our thoughts and it takes up residence there until we eventually have to call out to “dad” (Father God) to come to the rescue. How often do you greet and entertain your fears? The truth of the matter is, no matter your age, fear can rule your thoughts and greatly affect your choices when you give place to it. And that fear, it’s like a stray cat…feed it, and it will stick around until it becomes your pet.
A wise old Jedi named Yoda once said (yep, I’m using Star Wars reference), “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Maybe you’re afraid of people…people who are a different race, who are foreign, who practice a different religion, people who have been in jail, people who have threatened you, or even people that you just don’t know. But are we not called to love? 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Maybe you’re afraid of every “what if” and “worst case scenario” that pops into your mind. Whatever your big fear may be, that thing that festers in your thoughts every single day, you have authority in Christ to banish that thought like the stray cat that it is. “For though we walk in flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
It all comes down to choice. You can choose to focus on fear and allow it to grow and thrive, or you can follow the advice that Paul gives us in Philippians 4:8 when he says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Thank you for the wisdom of your word and the ability to understand it and apply it to the real situations in my life. I’m so grateful that in YOU I have power over fear today and every day. Amen