Friday, May 15, 2015

Praise God in Our Fears

I have been running into many people with fears. I know the feeling well. Until very recently my own fears were so great that my anxiety sent me into the darkness of depression. Fears come from all over and from many things. But there is a solution. I am going to be talking about God’s Word. Now, I understand that depression can take our minds and bodies to a place of total imbalance emotionally and chemically, requiring medication. However; most of our darkness is as a result of fears un-faced or overwhelming to us.

Psalm 34 is a prescription for fear. “I will bless or praise the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (v.1). This is the praise-pill. Yes, it is simple but not easy. Praising and thanking God in our trials and fears seems unreasonable. In fact, it is the solution. Psalms 22 tells us that God is in the praises of his people. He is not an egomaniac; the praises are for us!  We need to get out of ourselves and into God.
This verse says “continually” praise God.  Yes, again in the New Testament, Paul says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing (continuously), in everything give thanks (praise); for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:16).  Yes, God wants us to keep Him continuously on our heart and mind with thanksgiving for all things- praying always.  This is so hard. God knows it is and want to help us.

He goes on to tell us to boast in God alone. What he means is to give God the credit for all things accomplished. We didn’t do it, God is in and through us doing it. Until we get this theological truth, we are just bragging on ourselves, an ugly thing.  Get it? Be humble! “The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” (v.2).  Yes, “Magnify” His name and “Exalt” His name forever.  OK you say, why?

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me. And delivered me from all my fears.” (v.4).  God delivers us from all our fears, we can’t.  The Psalmist goes on to tell us that as we look to Him we will be radiant and not ashamed. The poor man cried out and God heard him. If we face our fears, confront our fears, confess our fears, He who is faithful and just will forgive them (sins and fears) and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  Yes, He is more than able to do it.  Yes, He will save you from all your troubles, all.

God is saying that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). This truth is brilliantly portrayed in the next verse. “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (v.7). This is reminiscent of Daniel 3 and the three men in the fiery furnace.  One who looked like a “son of God” was in the furnace with them. He was an OT, pre-incarnate (theophany) Christ, our abiding, always present, Redeemer and Savior.  Again in Psalm 35 we see mentioned the “angel of the Lord.” chasing and delivering us from our enemies and our fears.

Teaching on this Psalm verse by verse will reveal a continued theme. “O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”(v.8).  His ears are open to those who cry out to Him.  He also says, seek peace and pursue it and stay away from evil.  The righteous cry out and He hears us. He helps the brokenhearted and delivers us.

So “fear not” for He is with us, He will never leave or forsake us!!  Yeah God!!

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