TEXT: Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 118:5-9

Have you listened to your fears recently? Chances are they sound something like this:
“Who do you think you are to start another career at this point in your life?”
“Don’t you dare make that suggestion! Everyone in the group will just laugh at you!”
“What makes you think you’re qualified to even apply for the new position in the company?”
“What if the cancer comes back? What will I do then?”

Everyday, and several times throughout the day we have to do battle with thoughts that make us immobile…at least emotionally. Even after we have had good success in an endeavor, we find that the voices of intimidation are hard to “shut down.” But like every other experience we face in life, our first line of response should be to guard our hearts against the intimidating giants of fear.

Psalm 118 is a psalm of triumph and thanksgiving. The writer does not give us the details of what he was facing, other than the fact that the Lord delivered him from some kind of “distress” (v. 5). The Hebrew word for “distress” implies that the psalmist may have been in confinement or imprisonment. Then through God’s powerful intervention, he was released into a “spacious place,” a place of freedom (v. 5b). This experience of supernatural deliverance led the psalmist to declare...

  • “The Lord answered me” (v. 5)
  • “The Lord is for me” (v. 6)
  • “The Lord is my helper” (v. 7)
  • In fact, the writer of psalm 118 became so confident in what God had done that he would go on to say: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in nobles.” (vv. 8-9)

I don’t think it would be wise to conclude that the psalmist never had another moment of fear in his earthly life. However, he did learn a lesson that is preserved in Scripture for our benefit.


So what is “God-focused faith”? It is a moment-by-moment choice to focus on God. His character, His will, and His ways. Instead of any frightening experience we might be facing.

Have you watched a college or professional basketball game, where a player is trying to shoot a free throw? Fans are waving signs, trying to distract the player. But the best players focus on the task before them, not the distractors. That is what God-focused faith is like. It reflects on God’s presence and power instead of what seems intimidating. 

But how do we ever get to the point in our fears where we have the presence of mind to think about God? Two things we talked about in previous posts can help: meditation and memorization. Meditation requires that we first spend time in God’s Word on a regular, systematic basis to discover what He is really like. Memorization is that process where we review a verse or series of verses from Scripture multiple times until we can recite those verses from memory. The value of memorization is that we can recall biblical truth and apply it to any given situation, even while we are engaged in other tasks.

So if you want to be on guard against all your fears, counter those fears with the words God has given us in Scripture.

Start nurturing a God-focused faith.
HE  IS  OUR  REFUGE!  What can any man or object do to us?

Stop listening to your fears, and tell them the truth!

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