“The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
It didn’t shout “Boo!”, but I did jump. Imagine my surprise to find a large possum Thursday morning trapped in the bottom of a trashcan behind the fellowship hall. I’m not overly scared of possums, but I don’t like being surprised by them. But my fear shortly turned to pity. It was written all over its ugly face, the possum was frightened and trapped. So with mercy, I turned the trashcan over and freed the poor thing. At times, like the possum, a lot of us are trapped and frighten by unhealthy fears. And God does not want any of us living in dread. That is not to say that some fears are healthy. Some fears are useful. Parents understand that creating a fear of the street can save their child’s life. Believers understand that having a respectful fear of the Lord can save one’s soul and add life aiding wisdom. Fears are healthy when the emotion is to protect and mature another.
Unhealthy fears are always self-centered and/or self-defeating. Self-centered intimidation leads to unhealthy immobilization. And like a deer in headlights, it usually leads to a bad result. I will share three biblical examples of this on Sunday. However, our main focus on Sunday will be on how God desires to release his children from unwholesome fears so that they can grow emotionally, socially and spiritually. Our main text will be Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus helps Peter, and reveals to us four steps to overcoming our unwanted fears. Think of them as the four C’s: Confronting, Comprehending, Convincing and Caring. One last helpful tip in overcoming our fears; read and mediate on all of Psalms 27. It is a powerful Psalm of David – a person who knew how to face his fears.
-Mike Abbott is the Minister of the Denham Spring Church of Christ, in Denham Springs, LA