I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:1-4
It’s hard not to be afraid, isn’t it? We live in a world where something as simple as going to a movie can be deadly, or going to work may put us in the path of a disgruntled employee who has armed himself intent on settling the score. Financial difficulties, health problems, death – there are plenty of things for us to fear. But fear can be a sinful lack of trust in God’s protection and care.
In our Bible reading today, the writer, David, tells us what he did when he was afraid. “I sought the Lord and he answered me.” As David wrote those words, he recalled a time in his life when he was in danger, and he was filled with fear. When he sought the Lord, he found protection and deliverance in the love and power of God. When we are afraid, we can also confidently turn to our loving and almighty God to help us in our fearful times.
How does God help us when we are afraid? He promises that he has our future in his hands and that all things work for the good of those who love him. He also promises to rescue us from sin and death. God did just that when he sent his only Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our sins by his death on the cross. Our Savior freed us from the fear of hell. And to prove it, he rose from death. Therefore, we have nothing to fear – not even death – because God is more powerful than the grave. Our living Lord promises to be with us always and finally bring us to be with him in heaven.
We know the Lord will keep his promises because he is the one who showed his love for us on the cross. We know he is strong enough to keep these promises because he was powerful enough to rise from the dead.
What should we do when we are afraid? Seek the Lord and trust in him as David did. Then, as David did, praise the Lord. Glorify and extol him for his love and his power.
Prayer: Lord God, teach me to seek you when I am afraid. Deliver me from my fears, and help me to praise and glorify you. Amen.