3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Have you ever seen the movie “The Sound of Music”? It’s a classic, and overall a pretty good movie. Almost always though, when a movie isn’t boldly christian (and oftentimes even in christian ones), there are things in the movie that are wrong from a “worldview” standpoint. In this particular movie, one of those moments is when a song entitled “My Favorite Things” is sang. In the movie, the main character is giving advice about what to do when you’re feeling scared, and she proceeds to tell her children that all they have to do is “remember their favorite things” and then they won’t “feel so bad.” The favorite things that she says are important to overcoming fear are things such as “whiskers on kittens” and “sleigh bells” and “brown paper packages tied up with strings (like a present).” Well, do you know what I think of that? I think it’s absolutely stupid! But I should clarify, because I actually agree with the song’s main premise. I 100% agree that when we are afraid that we ought to remember what can take our fear away, but there is only one thing that can do that, and it’s not a thing at all….it’s our Father in heaven.
Fear is a real thing, and at times it can have crippling effects on us. When we’re young fear of the dark can keep us from rest. As we get older, fear seems to actually have more of an effect on us, because we learn that fear can come in so many different forms. We can be afraid of what others might think of us, what others might say to us, what others might do to us etc… We can also become afraid of concepts such as failure, regret and embarrassment. There are so many things in this world that we fear, and fear can cripple us. Fear keeps us from joy, and it keeps us from following God. The Bible goes so far as to call fear a sin (1 John 4:18), and there are scores of commands that say “fear not.” So how do we overcome fear? How do we “fear not”? The answer is so very like the answer from that song…we remember our favorite things!
David says in this Psalm that when he is afraid, his FAVORITE thing, is to remember his very good God. His answer is simple: “when I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” I think about God’s sovereignty in all things often, and here is a very practical way in which David understood God’s sovereignty working out in real life. David says “what can flesh do to me?” What he means by that is simply that if God is in control, and if God is working all things together for good, then why should I fear anything this world throws at me? Our God is a good God! Our God loves us, and He has promised that He will care for us (Matt 10:28-31; Matt 7:9-11; Matt 6:26-31)! So we don’t have to fear anything, ever. When we begin to be afraid we simply need to “remember” this verse, and all the others in scripture that teach us that God is “bigger than the boogie man” and that He’s watching out for us. If you are struggling with fear, then remember that God has said that you can trust Him. If you’re afraid of doing the right thing because you’re afraid of what people would say, if you’re afraid of standing up to the person who’s acting wrongly because you’re afraid of what they might do, even if you’re just afraid of the dark, remember that God is with you, He will never leave you, and you can say with David “I shall not be afraid.” Jesus suffered the worst fear imaginable, separation from His Father, and He conquered it so that you and I might be able to experience the peace that God will give us if we just ask. So remember that God is with you, and that He is in control, and that He will work out your circumstances for good, and He will never leave you, and that He cares about you, and that He loves you.
Psalm 91:4-8 “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.”