Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 22, 2012

"1.The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid? 2. When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. 4. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. 7. Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. 8. My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. 9. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. 10. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. 11. Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. 13. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”  Psalm 27

How you can tell when it's going to be a rotten day:

You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.

You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

Your twin sister forgot your birthday.

Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell's Angels on the freeway.

Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.

The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.

Your income tax check bounces.

You put both contact lenses in the same eye.

Your wife says, "Good morning, Mike", and your name is George.
There are times in our lives when our world comes crashing down on us; if anything can go wrong, it will. When life seems to be going in a downward spiral, you’re at the end of your rope and you can’t tie a knot to hold on - fear often takes hold of us. Fear traps us in the belief that nothing will ever improve, that we are ensnared and will never escape. When life gets us down, fear fills the void left by hope.

Fear is not the domain of the timid, but swells over all of us no matter how brave we may appear to be.

Julius Caesar once remarked that even the shouts of his enemies were music to his ears, but he was terribly afraid of thunder. When it vaguely looked like a storm was brewing, he began to shiver and shake. Peter the Great, considered by many to have been the greatest czar of Russia was terrified to cross a bridge. He would tremble in his boots whenever he stepped onto a bridge. King Louis the XV, of France, was so afraid of death the he ordered the subject off limits in his presence. Stalin was constantly in fear of being poisoned or killed. He had 8 bedrooms which could be locked up like safes in a bank. Nobody ever knew in which of these bedrooms he slept on any given night.

We fear losing our health, our wealth, our family; our friends. We fear losing the promotion or even the job. We fear growing old, but even more, we fear death.

On his return visit to many parts of the world, Herbert Hoover was asked by a reporter what, in his judgment, was the prevailing mood of the peoples in the lands he had visited. "The dominant emotion everywhere in the world is fear. This applies to every part of human activity; finance, industry, farmers, workers, thinkers, and government officials."

One of the things that makes the Psalms so helpful is the Psalmist is so honest and vulnerable. He shares his battles with fear as a fellow struggler not as some super-spiritual hero above the fray.

The reason that this 27th Psalm is such a favorite is because David is candid about his own fears but also confident that his faith gives him courage to overcome those fears. Fear didn't have the last word in his life and it needn't have the last word in yours.

He overcame his fears with two powerful resources - the presence of God (seeking His face) and the peace of God (standing in His grace). You have those same two resources available to you in abundance!

Having fear is not a sin. Letting fear have you is. Getting fearful is not sinful. Giving in to your fears is.