Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
It has rightly been said that the definition of courage is not the absence of fear, but rather acting in the face of fear. David is honest enough to say that sometimes he is afraid. The particular turn of phrase is, “in the day of fear.” Here he is making the commitment to trust God even in such days, for they come to everyone. He repeats the sentiment a little differently later in the Psalm: “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise–in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (vv. 10-11) Trust is ultimately a matter of choice, but it is a choice we can make, and it makes a huge difference. That’s why America’s enemies are so incensed that the national motto is, “In God we trust.” It’s on all American money, even though that seems laughable at times. Far too many people trust money, rather than God! Recent events, with inflation and the like, have shown just how untrustworthy money is, but as the Bible points out repeatedly, foolish and/or evil people have trusted in their wealth from time immemorial. We live in scary times, with threats ranging from China to AI to pandemics. The choice is clear: do we trust God, or not? The devil does all he can to erode our trust in God, but the choice remains ours. God is the only thing, the only One, who is absolutely trustworthy. In these scary times, He is our hope and our refuge.
I don’t think I’ve ever been a particularly fearful person, and I’m grateful. I see people all around me who seem consumed by fear. Japan has been open to the idea of “flu masks” for a very long time, but still it is sad to see people walking alone outdoors with masks on even now. I was very happy yesterday when the groom of a couple that came for counseling before their wedding didn’t wear a mask, and I happily ditched the face shield that I use to keep from offending people. I have had COVID, and it wasn’t fun, but I’m very thankful that I never cowered in fear of getting it in the over two years from the point it was “released into the wild.” With my wife’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, some people would be constantly fearful of how it might progress. I choose not to be, even though I am quite informed, medically speaking. A friend was killed last week by a driver distracted by their phone. That could happen to me, and I’ve had a few close calls when I’ve been out walking, but I choose not to walk in fear (pun intended). I have seen God rescue me from even very dangerous situations, and I have total assurance of my ultimate destination, so I have every reason to trust God and rest, relax, and rejoice, just as He has told me to do.
Father thank You for Your incredible faithfulness. New things come up with remarkable frequency to try to steal my peace. Help me consistently submit to You and resist the devil, so that his attacks on my mind and heart may blow away like dust, (James 4:7) and I walk in assured obedience to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!