Victory over Fear
Before I start this message, I would like to ask you two questions. The first one is “What is your favourite verse in the Bible?” The second is “what is your favourite hymn?’. The Bible is the Word of God and they are all precious and important. However, some verse is dearer to us because somehow it has encouraged you and enlightened you. It has helped you go through difficulties in your life. Same is true with your favourite hymn. A song you can sing in your heart when you feel you are up or down. This afternoon I would share to you one of my favourite verse and that is our text for today. Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. I honestly think that there are people or believers like me who share the same choice. Why? Because there are times that we all experience fear.
I. Fear is universal, we all become afraid
A. It doesn’t matter who we are. Big, small, large, medium, extra-large we all feel afraid.
B. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how rich you are.
C. It doesn’t matter how influential you are and who your friends are.
During World War II, a military governor met with General George Patton in Sicily. When he praised Patton highly for his courage and bravery, the general replied, “Sir, I am not a brave man … The truth is, I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within the sound of gunshot or in sight of battle in my whole life that I wasn’t so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands.”
II. We all have to face fearful situation
A. David was a brave young man who fought Goliath, a Philistine warrior who is almost 10 feet tall.
B. But when King Saul hunted him down with plan to kill him he was afraid and hid in caves, he even went to the land of the Philistines just to run away from Saul.
C. It was during this time that he wrote this psalm. By the way, the expression in the title “upon Jonath-elem-rechokim,” the first word – “Jonath” – means a “dove,” a favourite emblem of suffering innocence; and the second – אלם ‘elem – means “silence,” dumbness, sometimes put for uncomplaining submission; and the third – רחוקים rachoqiym – means “distant” or “remote,” thus understood, the whole title is an enigmatical description of David as an innocent and uncomplaining sufferer among strangers.
III. What people do when they are afraid
A. Some take drugs or medicine to calm them down
B. Some goes out to talk to their friends or call their friends to simply just talk
C. Some run away from the source of fear.
D. But for David, it’s different and he penned it “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
There are so many things people are afraid of. Most common fear is death, terrorism, fear of the unknown, with the recent Malaysian Airlines incidents, people are now afraid to travel by air. Others are afraid of losing their job or sudden loss of their love ones. Still others are afraid of insects like spiders, cockroaches. Natural calamities like earthquake, tornados, floods, really makes people scared. When I was working in Libya, I came to know bullies who tell they are Karate black belt yet they are afraid of the dark.
There is a different kind of fear I want to show you. There was a lady who died in 1916 named Hetty Green. She lived in fear every day of her life. She was called America’s greatest miser. When she died in 1916, she left an estate valued at $100 million.
But she was so fearful of poverty that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water.
When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated because of advanced infection.
She was so afraid of losing her wealth that she never enjoyed her life…
IV. What fear can do to us?
A. Fear has the ability to stop you
The people of Jericho became so afraid of the Jews when they heard they are coming. Joshua 2:9-10, tells us how the citizens of Jericho have lost their courage to fight. Fear has the ability to stop us from doing better things.
B. Fear has the ability to silence you.
When I was working in Libya, the people avoid talking about Col. Khadafy openly because he has so many spies working for him ready to report anybody who speaks a word against him. And so is true during the Martial Law in the Philippines Marcos being the President.
John 7:13, “Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.” The fear of what men might do, will keep many people from speaking about the Lord to those who so desperately need to hear. Has fear silenced you? We should not be afraid to tell others about Christ.
V. Faith – the antidote for fear
A. After the death of Moses, Joshua is called to lead the people into the Promised Land.
B. Notice the instruction God gives Joshua. Look at Josh. 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
C. God said He would be with Joshua, and He says in Heb. 13:5b “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. He will be with us. All we need to do is have FAITH in God and in His Word to us.
VI. Jesus is with us
A. But regardless of our fears, the Lord said in Matthew 14:27, “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
B. The Lord told the disciples on the ship not to be afraid. Why? Because He was with them.
I remember one Bible Expositor who wrote, “Nothing under God’s control is ever out of control. When we are afraid, we need to remember the God we serve and know that He has everything under control. When we understand that God has everything under control, we see why David said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psa. 56:3). God is there to protect and we find comfort in that.
I’m a dog lover and one of the true stories which touched my heart is the dog which when his master died, walks a few miles from his home to the cemetery just to sleep at the tomb of his master. Such love and loyalty which no amount of money will be able to buy have been shown by a dog. But greater love has God the Father has done for us in that He gave His only begotten son Jesus Christ to die for us.
Has fear stopped you, and silenced you. King David says” What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee”. Trust in the Lord. If you haven’t put for trust in Jesus Christ yet, now is the time.