During one of the more treacherous sections of David's life, when he was running from Saul and others who were intent on his destruction; he stopped long enough to write a very important Psalm to call to mind when confronted with fear in the midst of trials. In Psalms 56 we read:
"Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; fighting all day he oppresses me."
Have we not all felt this way at times? We are surrounded by people who only want to fight and oppress us. The image is one of a huge animal swallowing him up.
"My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High."
I think of a swarm of gnats or mosquitoes when I read this verse. They were hounding him all day for there were many of them fighting against him. These were not pleasant times for David to say the least.
"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?"
What incredible verses! Whenever David was afraid, he simply trusted God. As ridiculously simple as it sounds, the way to overcome fear is to TRUST. Peter trusted Jesus when He told him to walk on the water. As long as Peter trusted Jesus' word, he had no fear and more than conquered the waves. But, when he quit trusting and looked at the circumstances around him; he was full of fear and began to sink.
The greatest way to trust God is ask the same question David asked; What can flesh do to me? Really, what is the worst that man/flesh can do to you? It cannot take away your eternal life. It cannot make God love you any less. It cannot get you unborn again. Remember the simplicity of these three things:
1. Put your trust in God, and Him alone.
2. Do not fear.
3. Ask, what can flesh do to me?
"All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather together, they hide, they mark my steps, when they lie in wait for my life."
These were some pretty ruthless people that were after David. All day long they twisted his words around to make him sound like a fool. All their thoughts were against him and were evil. They laid in wait to ambush him. Their only intent was his destruction.
Did you know Jesus read this Psalm many times? He knew what David had said, and he knew that the exact same thing was going to befall him. But, he knew what David had said as to how to avoid getting ambushed and caught in the traps of evil men looking to twist his words and find a way to discredit him. Jesus read all of what David had written and he stood upon those words in the darkest hours of his life.
"You number my wanderings; put my tears into your bottle. Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.
In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
Here near the end of the Psalm, David again lists the same basic three things he said earlier:
1. Put your trust in God
2. Be not afraid
3. What can man do to me?
The only way to deal with not only the people who make your life miserable, but also the fear that creeps in with them is to trust God totally, refuse to fear and keep asking yourself "what's the worst thing they could do to me?" When David confronted Goliath as a teenager, he trusted God totally. He refused to be intimidated by the giant's size, he refused to fear him, and he kept the battle in perspective. The worst that could happen was the giant kill him. In David's mind that was met with a huge "big deal". His life was far bigger than the physical life Goliath wanted to snuff out.
"Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to you.
For You have delivered my soul from death. Have you not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God in the light of the living?"
Ultimately what allowed David to trust God, refuse to fear and boldly deal with the situation was the vows he had made to God. Those vows pulled him through the dark times filled with doubts and natural hesitations. He had totally committed himself to God and there was no turning back or running away.
David knew that God had delivered his soul from death and his feet from falling. He knew God had spared his life and would protect him so that he could walk before God in the light of the living. Isn't that what we want? Don't we want to walk before God in the light of the living? Use these things to combat fear and build your trust in God. Did you know that one of the greatest motivators to stay alive is the belief one is needed by someone else? Did you know the main reason people try to end their life is the belief no one needs or loves them?
God needs you and me to walk in the light of the living and show others His love. God will protect, sustain and deliver because He is Love and love dictates He act to care for one of His own. Trust God, refuse to fear, and keep reminding yourself that there is nothing man can do to you that really matters.