No Fear; September 30, 2020

Psalm 112:7-8 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

This whole Psalm is a listing of the blessings that accrue to a person who “fears the Lord, who takes great delight in His commands.” (verse 1) Like many other Psalms it is an acrostic poem, with each succeeding line starting with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so in some ways it could be seen as a collection of truisms, things that you might take for granted. Even so, the Psalms that were created in that pattern often have powerful statements of truth. Back in the days before printing, memory was relied on a great deal more than today, and such patterns were very helpful in that. These two verses deal with the topic of fear, which is relevant to any day and age. Today people are afraid of COVID-19, political upheaval, climate catastrophe, and any of a number of other things. The answer to them all is just as it says here, fearing God more and above anything else and delighting to be obedient to Him. It is amazing how properly fearing God cancels every other fear! The first one listed here is a fear of bad news. It isn’t unusual that people in the middle of a normal life will be afraid of bad news, even if it never comes. However, if we really trust God, it doesn’t matter what news comes. The second fear mentioned here deals with enemies. Right now it does seem that many people are badly deceived by the devil and are following his directions. When we have a correct view of God, we will rest secure in the knowledge that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Fear tears us down before anything bad actually happens! That’s why the Bible says so many times not to be anxious. When our priorities are right, we literally have nothing to be afraid of. (John 16:33-34)

This is something I have been almost amused to realize over the past few weeks. When I have told people about having surgery for a basal cell carcinoma and then needing a skin graft after that, they have reacted with seeming shock and even fear, yet I have felt no fear myself. I know that injections of local anesthesia can be quite painful, but I have had very little fear of them. The idea of cutting out a plug of my scalp and then filling the hole with a plug from my lower abdomen has seemed to horrify some people, but I have been quite unshaken by the idea, and I am quite grateful. I know that there will be things in my life that will be quite unpleasant at the moment, but I know that my God is more than able to deal with them, and that is enough. My fear certainly won’t make it any easier! My focus is to be on God, in full gratitude and obedience, and leave everything up to Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder, and for this experience I’ve been having of no fear when others seem to be afraid for me. Help me be effective in sharing the good news of Your power and love with all, including those who have made the initial steps of faith. May we all learn to trust You fully and fear nothing the devil or the world can throw at us, delighting to be in Christ. (John 16:33) Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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