Vital signs- Saturday, March 18th,2023
When you read the story of David and Goliath in the Bible, one of the first things you notice is that the Israelite army was “dismayed and terrified” of the giant (1 Samuel 17:11). Goliath started each day with taunts and ended each day with taunts. As time went by, all that demoralizing and diminishing had an effect on the Israelites. They began to believe in spite of their best efforts, something undesirable was going to happen to them . . . their defeat.
This is basically the definition of fear—the belief that something is out there that is going to get you that you can’t do anything to stop. This fear can manifest itself in many different ways—anxiety, nervousness, worry, stress, dread, hopelessness, panic, to name a few—and can spring up in your life from a variety of sources. Perhaps you experience fear as a result of the environment in which you were raised. Maybe your family treated life like one big threat that never diminished. At any minute, something could go wrong . . . and it probably would.
Or perhaps you experience fear as a result of trying to conceal mistakes and imperfections in your life. You are ashamed of something you’ve done in the past, and you worry that one day it will be made public and brought to light. Or perhaps you experience fear as a result of trying to control too many things in your life. You’ve realized that most things in life are out of your control, and this makes you fearful about what will happen in the future.
The giant of fear can get a foothold in your life and begin to dominate you. It can demoralize you and ultimately diminish God’s glory in your life. It can chew away at your life, erode your sense of confidence, rob you of sleep, blind you, and steal your praise to God. Fear is a relentless giant. And it is one that must fall through the power of Jesus.
The solution to facing the giant of fear is not determination but faith in Jesus. It isn’t so much saying, “Fear, go away,” but confessing, “I have confidence that Jesus is bigger than this giant and has already defeated it.” In Romans 10:17, Paul states, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). When you see and hear God in and through his Word, the Word allows you to see and hear that He is bigger than your giant. That builds up your faith, and your faith in turn becomes the stone that shuts up the giant that’s already defeated.
So today, identify the source of your fear and place it in the hands of Jesus. Remind yourself that with God all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26) and he is able to overcome this giant. Remember that Jesus has promised to always be with you (see Hebrews 13:5). Name what is keeping you up at night, and then offload those cares to the One who has promised to care for you (see 1 Peter 5:7). Then fill your mouth with praise because you see God’s might, recognize his love for you, and know that he will always come through. His mercy will never fail (see Lamentations 3:22).
As you do this, even though the cause of your fear may not be removed, you will be actively relegating fear to its proper place: into the hands of Christ.
The opposite of fear isn’t courage but faith. What does faith in Jesus involve when you’re up against the giant of fear? What do you need to believe? What do you need to do?
What helps you become convinced that God is bigger than your fears and has overcome whatever you fear?
What role do praise and worship have in dealing with fear? Why are they so important?
“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV