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Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger. 4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.”
In Psalm 55, David is in complete dismay at the betrayal he is experiencing. He is struggling with the fact that some of his closest and intimate friends have just turned against him. Though we don’t know who David is speaking about, the events outlined in this Psalm are very similar to the rebellion of David’s own son Absalom and David’s most trusted advisor Ahithophel. Imagine the emotions running through David’s mind!
Well…we don’t have to imagine, because David is describing for us the condition of his heart. He finds himself in an unbelievably bad place; he is filled with fear, anguish, and horror! The word “anguish” means writhe. Picture someone lying on the floor writhing in pain-this is where David finds himself. He’s becoming weak in his waiting; he is paralyzed emotionally and physically. We can’t miss how deep-seeded his fear is.
But notice this…in the opening line, we see David’s desperate cry to God! He’s saying to God “Don’t ignore me; hear me, answer me. I’m troubled and distraught!” The fear David’s experiencing has beaten him up both physically and emotionally, yet he is asking God to listen to him, to hear him, and to answer him. David’s prayer flows out of deep despair, but ultimately his prayer flows out of his confidence in the Lord! Even though he may not understand what is going on, he knows that God is sovereign. David is confident that God is aware of his situation.
Fear is a part of life, but there is a right way and a wrong way to respond to it. Some people try to weather the storm by pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and acting as though nothing is wrong. They live believing that if they act as if there is no fear, then somehow they will be free from the effects of the fear. This approach is wrong; it’s foolish!
A better approach would be to look to David’s response to the fear he faced. David’s heart was full of fear… and rightly so! But notice what he does…he admits it. He has no problem expressing all of his feelings to God and takes his fears directly to the Lord.
Fear can grip our heart in many different ways. It doesn’t have to be as dire a situation as David found himself in. It could be an everyday fear that is a nagging sense of uncertainty. Maybe it causes you to start running all the “what if” questions through your mind? “What if” I lose my Job? “What if” my spouse dies? “What if” I never get married? And on and on it goes. We begin to see just how much we really don’t control in our life. We can find that soon these “little fears” become all consuming! They may even cause us to turn in toward ourselves as a form of protection. This leaves us feeling more alone and isolated, which leads to more fear. It is an endless cycle we can’t afford to live in. So what do we do?
In the midst of the storm and fear, we should do like David and admit our fear to the Lord. We come back to a proper perspective when we turn to the Lord and give Him all our troubles. We remember that despite our situation, there is One who is all-powerful and all-knowing. He alone is omnipresent and omnipotent. Our current fears will shrink when focused on the One who has the power of life and death.
Jesus understood how fear can grip our hearts at times. Listen to His thoughts on fear and who He said we should fear. “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” (Luke 12:5)
Even though David wasn’t around to hear Jesus’s words, Psalms illustrates that he lived them out.
So, what are you afraid of?
Have you shared those fears with God? If not, would you stop right now and let Him know what makes you fearful?
Remember that you are never alone. No matter where you are, there is nowhere you could go and escape His presence. So, turn to Him right now. Ask Him to help you learn from David how to handle your fear.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.