FEAR AND FAITH
Leave your fears with God and ask him to give you his peace.
Read Psalm 3
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is currently worrying you?
The writer of this psalm is in trouble. He alternates between faith and fear. We know the feeling. Our problems will be different, but we have moments when we find it hard to know where to turn and times when faith is strong. There are the times when friends or work colleagues facing some personal tragedy or trying to make sense of some world situation ask us where God is and what he is doing (2). Like the psalmist, we may not have an answer; all we can do is turn to God, and leave it with him (4).
Faith is based on the character of God and what we have experienced of his care in the past. The psalm reminds us that fear and faith are both part of human experience—often in close proximity. It also suggests that being honest with God about how we feel is not only permitted but also desirable.
We may find the vindictiveness of verse 7 difficult. It is typical of the honesty and emotional force of some psalms, highlighting the need to be open with God. These sentiments reflect a time before Jesus, and his followers now need to respond differently. Even the psalmist does not take vengeance into his own hands but leaves it with God to work out (7).
Write down a list of your worries: situations or people that are frustrating you or causing you to fear. In a symbolic act, crumple or shred the paper and throw it away as a sign of giving it to God.
Pray that you will know God’s strength in all the situations that you will face this week.
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