I want out
As for me, I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me. – Psalm 55:16
4 My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
8 How quickly I would escape – far from this wild storm of hatred.
11 Everything is falling apart; threats are rampant in the streets.
12 It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them.
16 But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me.
17 Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me.
At least 60 percent of adults admit to having at least one unreasonable fear. Secular research is not clear on why these fears manifest. One theory is that humans have a genetic predisposition to fear things. Another theory is that it is the result of previous traumatic experiences (Psychology Today).
Could it be that fear is one of the consequences, collateral damage, from the Fall? When Adam and Eve realized that they were naked, they felt shame and were afraid (Genesis 3:7-10).
Sometimes this world can be a very scary place. Fears bubble up and we find ourselves driven by heartache, dread, and worry. This is particularly true of the fear of the future. Fear can be both rational (resulting from objective fact) and irrational (coming from hurtful past experiences or our worst imaginations). Fear is emotional foreboding or dread of impending distress or misfortune. Fear can seriously affect our activity or even immobilize us.
But fear reveals more about us than our circumstances. While it is natural to experience fear when danger is present or bad things happen, it is also possible to overcome fear. It all depends upon what we do with it.
In Psalm 55, David seems to be headed towards what today we would call a nervous breakdown. The uncertainties he faced were beginning to overwhelm him. David wanted to run away. Rather, he wanted to fly away like a dove and escape (Psalms 55:6-8).
David had developed a lifestyle of faith in the face of overwhelming odds. Rather than giving in to fear, David chose to pursue hope and confidence. Rather than running away from his pain, he chose to face it and ran to the Father. David called upon on the Father to rescue him in his circumstances, not from the circumstances (Psalms 55:16).
“When the walls close in and the floor gives way, we often wish we could be anywhere but where God has put us. Trusting God, however, means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees” (Stanley).
REFLECT & PRAY
When future-oriented worry and fear bubble up, we can capture and disarm it. Remember bubbles eventually burst.
Father it is so easy for me to be fearful. So many difficult and dreadful things have happened. They have left me with a hollow ache that often turns to dread and anxiety. But Dear Father You are my unique and wonderful liberator from fear. Rescue me.
The Lord Jesus Christ through His atoning death, resurrection, and present intercession for us at the right hand of God, has broken the power of fear.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Because we are members of the Father’s forever family, we have a dynamic and remarkable power residing within us to overcome our anxieties.
None of us learned to be fearful overnight. Courage and confidence will not happen suddenly either. Learning to trust the Father boldly and confidently, rather than giving in to our natural fears is a process. Peter shows us the way. It begins with humility.
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Faith or fear, the choice is ours. The Father promises perfect peace to those who trust in Him.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Psalms 97:11 Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.
The psalmist does not say, “if something ever scares me,” he says, “whenever I am afraid.” Fear is a natural human reaction to danger. The Father does not tell us to ignore our fears but to bring them to Him (Stanley).
“If people are afraid, it is because of something in the past that haunts them, or something in the present that upsets them, or something in the future that they feel threatens them. Or it may be a combination of all three. A believer in Jesus Christ does not have to fear the past, present, or future, for he has experienced the love of God and this love is being perfected in him day by day” (Wiersbe).
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
over all victorious in its bright increase:
perfect, yet still flowing fuller every day;
perfect, yet still growing deeper all the way.
Trusting in the Father, hearts are fully blest,
finding, as he promised, perfect peace and rest. (Frances Ridley Havergal)
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.