fight fear

This morning as I spent some time in prayer, I thought about the various places in my life where I am uncertain of the outcome. Sometimes I have little or no problem following God’s plan for me even if I can’t see all that he is doing. Sometimes, however, I feel like Peter, who had enough faith to step out of the boat but seeing the waves around him, falters and begins to sink. As I was praying, I thanked God for all that I could see him doing in my family’s life and ministry, but I also told him about my uncertainty. While I was asking him to help me to walk in faith, and not in fear, Psalm 100 came to mind. I began to praise God with this short, but excellent Psalm of praise. After a few minutes, I realized God was teaching me about how to battle fear with this moment of worship.

Psalm 100 says this:

Psalm 100

“A PSALM FOR GIVING THANKS.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:0–5 ESV)

Psalm 100 helped me to see that I was fearing hypothetical situations – things that are not there – even though I serve God, who is both real and here with me. Praying through Psalm 100 helped me see that my fears were nonsense in light of God’s presence.

Psalm 100 helped me to see that service to God and praise go hand in hand. I am not called to serve God with fear, but with gladness. I can do this precisely because I am able to “come into his presence with singing.” Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, who makes this possible!

Psalm 100 helped me to see that even if I can’t see what he is doing, I can see that I am being led by the one who knows what he is doing. I am not God, so I can’t have a view of the beginning and the end of my walk. I can trust Christ, the Good Shepherd, to both be with me and to guide me. I do not determine the means or the end, God does. I am his to do with what he pleases, and that’s good (serve the Lord with gladness!).

Psalm 100 helped me to see that my service to God (whether it be easy or difficult in nature) must be fueled by praise and worship. I thank him for loving me, for leading me, for using me. I can do this even if the road becomes difficult because “the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

As Pastor Tony Evans said, “when Peter was overcome by his problem (the water) Jesus came to him walking on Peter’s problem.”[1] God is able. The Lord is God. He is Good. His Steadfast love endures forever. I can trust him in my circumstances because he is mighty to save, and his goodness assures me that he will do what is good. He will not abandon. He will not leave me to face fear alone. He calls me to himself to worship him and to serve him with gladness.

I think I’ll leave my fear behind. It just doesn’t make sense to carry it around. Will you join me?

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

 


[1] A paraphrase from Dr. Tony Evans | Apr 14, 2019, “Freedom from Fear” | https://youtu.be/_kcLjzJDP54?t=427

 

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