Yesterday morning in church, our worship team led a rousing rendition of “Hosanna” by Paul Baloche. One of my favorite songs, this is, because it reminds me that God’s presence washes away our fears.
I’ve nearly completed an intensive fall speaking schedule. Everywhere I’ve traveled, I’ve met women who’ve spoken honestly with me about their fears. Here are some of the things they’ve said:
- “I’m afraid my kids are developing friendships with the wrong crowd. I see what’s happening but they won’t listen to me when I talk with them about the importance of hanging out with kids who will have a positive influence on them.”
- “I’m afraid for my daughter’s future as she struggles with cancer.”
- “I’m afraid for my marriage. My husband’s addicted to pornography, and I don’t think I can deal with this anymore.”
- “I’m afraid for my son and his children as they deal with my daughter-in-law’s mental illness.”
- “I’m afraid to get on a plane. How do you do what you do when it involves so much air travel?”
Those examples merely touch the tip of the iceberg called fear. This issue is universal, and it’s not going to disappear anytime soon. But there’s hope for those of us who wrestle with scary stuff. It’s found in the truth of who God is and in the promise of His presence.
Imagine! Our heavenly Father created the universe with a spoken word. He parted the Red Sea, fed thousands with a few fish and loaves, and He raised the dead. This is our God! This is the One who calls us by name and knows the number of hairs on our head. This is the One who promises to never leave or forsake us, to be our fortress, and to give us strength. Why, then, do we feel afraid? Because we focus on our circumstances rather than on His presence and promises.
Psalm 34:4-6 says, “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy: no shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.”
Today I’m feeling a bit scared about my looming book deadlines. If I had nothing to do but write, I’d feel more confident about meeting those deadlines. But life’s not like that. I have a lot of other responsibilities, and I want to spend time with my grandkids, too. So I ask God for wisdom, for strength, and for courage. And He answers when I focus my thoughts on Him and His promises rather than on the stuff that unnerves me.
How about you? Of what are you afraid today? Focus your thoughts on God’s promises and presence. Read and reread and re-reread Psalm 34:4-6. And take a few minutes to listen to “Hosanna.” Doing these things will set you on the right path and slowly replace your fears with confidence and peace.