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Back to Basics – What Do You Fear?
Out of all the emotions that have come as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, fear is probably the most prevalent.
When we fear something we tend to overreact. We stockpile on things. Stores run out of supply. We engage too much in sensational media. We believe conspiracy theories.
There are many different ways that people react to fear. We do all kinds of things we would never ordinarily do. And it’s devastating, because fear controls you. It leads to depression, holds back your life, it can even have physical effects.
What do you fear concerning this crisis? How has fear affected you?
There once was an ancient king – a warrior king – from 3000 years ago, who wrote about fear.
“of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”
Here’s a guy who fought hand to hand combat his whole life. He’s under constant threat of physical harm.
We talk about coronavirus as an invisible enemy. The war against COVID-19 – it’s dangerous, but it’s not coming after you with swords!
Yet this ancient king is not afraid. How did he get this confidence? Why was he so fearless when his life was under threat? And how can we have this same fearlessness in the face of any enemy?
Well that ancient fearless king was David, king of Israel from 1010 to about 970 BC. And the poem above is from the Bible – Psalm 27.
So what was the key to his fearlessness? Why was this warrior so confident? It says in the beginning of the ancient poem:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
The key to his fearlessness was not his military training, his strength, even his own army. In fact it had nothing to do with himself. What made him so confident and fearless was his trust in God. He calls the lord his light, salvation, his stronghold. But he didn’t just believe that God exists. He was singularly focused on knowing God and having a relationship with him.
In verse 4 of that poem, it says:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after…”
There’s one thing that is more important than anything else – even more important to him than weapons to protect himself. What’s the one thing he asked God for? it goes on to say:
“that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.”
What he’s saying is, “the thing I want the most – that alleviates all my fears – is to know God more. To seek his face; that was the key to his confidence!
When trouble overwhelms me, I’m going to let God overwhelm my trouble! I’m going to be so close to God that those things don’t bother me. Instead of fearing people, or circumstances, or viruses, he feared and loved God. And he was so overwhelmed by God that his troubles didn’t seem so troublesome anymore.
Do you know this God? Have you sought his face? What’s so awesome about Him is that He’s not just up in heaven, watching us suffer through all of this.
God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to live in this world and die a horrible death for our sins, and rise from the dead so that we could be forgiven.
Because our greatest problem is not a virus. It’s not the threat of an enemy. It’s nothing physical at all – it’s spiritual.
Our deepest problem is sin, and we desperately need to be forgiven. And when you are saved from the penalty of sin, you really have nothing to fear – because God loves you. That’s the most important thing.
You know, that ancient poem ends in a note that is really encouraging. It says:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
This virus and our troubles are going to continue, but in the midst of any trouble – don’t be overwhelmed by your troubles. Let God overwhelm your troubles and wait on Him.
If you have any questions about any of this, or would like to talk to me about God or fear, please reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for watching this edition of Back to Basics.