When I Am Afraid


When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

~Psalm 56:3, NRSV


Faith is living with an unshakable confidence in the word of God.


Psalm 56:3 is the very first verse my Mother had me memorize. I began thinking about infinity when I was 7-8 years old and I marvel at the patience my mother had with me. She endured a lot of sleepless nights due to my endless questions and fears. I was terrified with the thought of death, hers or mine. The bouts with terror came in the darkness of night. I was like the little fellow who was being quizzed by his pastor: “Johnny, do you say your prayers every night?” Yes pastor, I most certainly do! [Pastor] Do you say your prayers every day? No sir pastor, I aint afraid in the day time! What do we do when we get afraid? We put our faith in God and in His word.

There are three things in Psalm 56 that are very encouraging to me. [1] David confesses his human frailty–David said, “when I am afraid.” He didn’t say ‘if’ but when. Steven Lawson states in his commentary on this Psalm that every believer is going to endure some kind of terrifying experience during their life time. I thought back to my bout with spinal meningitis when I was 13. I had no feeling from the waist down. I was in total isolation. Everyone wore mask except mother and daddy. I was so afraid that mother and daddy never left my side, not even for a minute. I don’t know what I would have done had they left me alone. David was a military man with combat experience. He was even a hero in combat and known for being fearless on the field of battle but he was not fearless. He fled to Gath because he was afraid of Saul but he did not get a good reception in Gath and then had to pretend that he was crazy to escape. He uses the rhetorical question to reassure himself, “What can mortal man do to me?” Well for one, they can remove your head. David was afraid and that fear initiated this Psalm which is a prayer that was later put to music.

[2] God takes note of our sorrow– O God! You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record? We are all human and we all have problems. We battle sin, depression, fear, anxiety, doubt, guilt and a multitude of other things. We even have problems relating to others. Perhaps there is someone out there this very moment that we are having problems relating to and it could be a close relative. We all have problems that overwhelm us, problems we cannot fix. We do not live in a perfect world, we live in a broken world that is cursed by sin. The only folks who don’t have sorrow are the wicked who are so hard and cold that they feel no compassion for anyone. Jesus said, “Blessed are they who mourn.” Jesus is just as aware of your sorrow as He was that of Mary and Martha.

[3] God’s word is where we put our trust-This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid.” What gives us assurance, the kind that David had, “This I know, that God is for me.” The answer is HIS WORD. It is a simple formula, FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. Get out of the world and get in the word. Feed your faith and starve your doubt. Everything the world throws at use is designed to undermine our faith in Christ. Charles and Joe David were talking day before yesterday about modern apologist who have the ability to intellectually disprove evolution. I admit that evolution shook me up in high school but I laugh at these jokers now. Evolution is a joke, a hoax, the con job of the ages. My convictions on the subject do not come from a science book but from the holy book. I don’t study evolution, I study the word of God. If you feed on the garbage the world puts out, you are bound to lose your assurance.

  • Gathering tonight at 6:30
  • BLOCK PARTY August 5
  • Don’t have a lot of Extra today. Didn’t get that much time in study yesterday

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