God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
- Psalm 23:1-4 (MSG)
In this psalm by David, we see him praise God for staying by his side through the most frightening of times. He praises God for being his sense of security in a valley of death. This is coming from a man who was a soldier and survived many battles where he and his army were outnumbered, so it’s hard not to appreciate the depth of what he’s saying.
However, when most of us deal with fear, we’re not always so calm and assured in the moment. We give in to panic, stress, despair and even anger. But this is not what God would have us do. He would have us rely on Him as David did to see us through the frightening moments of our lives.
Do not be afraid
Did you know that the phrase “Do not be afraid” or some variant of it appears in the Bible 365 times? It’s the most commonly repeated command from God and the angels throughout Scripture. Its frequent occurrence tells us two things:
- God believes we have no reason to be afraid.
- We are so prone to fear that we need the constant reminder to not be afraid.
Think about what you’re afraid of. It can be a number of things. It can be other people. It might be your work. It might be a phobia. It might be death. It might be uncertainty. Whatever it is, God assures us more than 300 times that we should not be afraid. He has our best interests in mind, and we should believe in that and remind ourselves of it when the times are hard, so we are better able to get through them without panic, stress or despair.
When dealing with fear, bring your fears to God. Pray to Him, consult the Bible for examples of situations similar to yours and lean on faithful people you trust. Following the command to not be afraid is a practice that takes a lifetime, it’s not a simple decision we can make at the snap of a finger. Work at not being afraid, and you just might find yourself becoming a stronger and braver person as you grow in your faith.
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