Two Competing Voices: Fear and Faith

 “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”  Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“A proud and self-reliant man rightly fears to undertake anything, but a humble man becomes all the braver as he realizes his own powerlessness; all the bolder as he sees his own weakness; for all his confidence is in God, who delights to reveal his almighty power in our infirmity and his mercy in our misery.” Francis de Sales

These two quotes remind us of the two competing voices that are calling out for our attention: The First Voice is Fear and the Second Voice is Faith (Confident reliance upon God). The Psalm we are looking at Sunday is Psalm 56. There are two key words in this Psalm – Both Found three times and both found in verses 3, 4, and 11. The two words are “afraid” and “trust.”  Here are the verses:

Psalm 56:3–4 (ESV)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.

What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 56:11 (ESV)

11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?

Notice how trust in the Lord and Fear are pitted against each other. They are the competing voices we hear when life gets hard.

Take some time this weekend and read through the 56th Psalm and ask yourself a couple of questions:

  1. What is it that I fear most of all?
  2. In light of the truth of verses 3, 4 and 11, why is my fear paralyzing me?

 

Let me leave, for your contemplation, the words of Dr. E. Stanley Jones:

I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath—these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely—these are my native air.

A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality.

See You Sunday,

Pastor Byron