Focus on Faith Instead of Fear

May 26, 2020

The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ...One thing I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after; to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock... I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:1, 4-5

“Of whom shall I be afraid?”  I hope that you don’t have anyone in your life of whom you currently should be afraid, yet, chances are at some point you have been afraid of someone.  For those who have encountered abuse in their life through parents, spouses, or perhaps even children, you know what it is like to walk on eggshells, scared that the least thing you do will set the person off.  Other of us may have experienced abuse at the hands of bullies. For some, you have experienced the fear of war. For others, you have been afraid of being ridiculed, shamed, scorned.  But the question can also be asked, “Of what shall I be afraid?” Perhaps it is fear of being alone, fear of catching the coronavirus, fear of suffering, fear of losing ones we love, or fear of dying.

The Psalmist has plenty of things to be fearful about and he tells us: evildoers, adversaries, foes, enemies who “bear false witness and breathe out violence.”  He could focus on his fears but he chooses instead to focus on God.  Nothing about letting go of our fears is easy, but it starts with what we say: “The Lord is my light and my salvation” instead of “I am so afraid.” When we face fear with statements of faith, we call upon God’s shield to be around us. It may not change the situation, but it changes how we face the situation.  The Psalmist focuses on his relationship with God – “One thing I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”  The Psalmist is directly referring to the temple, the holiest place for the Jewish people.  We don’t have temples but when we seek after God in the midst of fear, we seek to dwell in God – to know God’s light and salvation, the shelter under which we are protected.  We are placed high on a rock where we are greater than our fear.  “‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, do I seek.” (v.8)  When we fear, let us seek after God and let our starting point be, “The Lord is my light and salvation.”

Prayer: As hard as it can be, Sheltering God, when we are afraid let us focus on faith instead of fear. You protect our souls and give us strength to confront our circumstances with courage and hope.  We give you thanks for this and all your blessings.  Amen.