June 5, 2022
Fear in the mind creates stress in the body.
Stress in the body creates the need for control.
"Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors… Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?" – Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear
“A Psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away”
1 Samuel 21:10-15 NIV
"That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, 'Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands?' David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. Achish said to his servants, 'Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?'"
Psalm 34:1-3 NIV
"I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together."
My first activity in the midst of uncertainty is to enthusiastically bless the Lord.
Psalm 34:4-7 NIV
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them."
Accept that peace is the fruit of dependence, and not the by-product of control.
Psalm 34:8-10 NIV
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
Make no excuses, because you lack no good thing.
Psalms 34:11-14 NIV
"Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
Fear of God changes how I live today.
Psalms 34:15-16 NIV
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth."
Psalms 34:17-20 NIV
"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken."
Psalms 34:21-22 NIV
"Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned."
The more pain I experience, the closer the LORD is to me.
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. In Jesus’ name, Amen." -Reinhold Niebuhr (1926)