Psalms 56:11 NKJV In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
“I will NOT be afraid.” I love that. It’s bold. It’s positive. It’s direct. It’s TRUTH! You do not have to fear. Fear is a choice. It is an act of your will. You can choose to fear or you can boldly proclaim, “I will NOT be afraid.”
How do you choose to FEAR NOT? This verse tells us you put your trust in God. Having confidence, trust, or faith in the faithfulness of God enables you to stand boldly and fearless before whatever my lie ahead.
That sounds all well and good, Pastor, but I feel like I’ve just been thrown in a mess of rattlers (rattlesnakes) and I’m in fear now. I feel overwhelmed and am just not at a place where I can say fully trust Him right now or boldly say, “I will not be afraid.” What do I do?
Here’s what you do… go back to a place where you put your trust in Him. Then slowly progress forward again trusting Him along the way. If you can’t trust and believe God for $1, you’re not going to be able to trust Him for $1Million.
Climb the ladder
One day my son and I were cleaning the ceiling mounted overhead projector in our church (FCFTucson.org). He courageously climbed the 12 foot ladder until his head was at the 12foot ceiling height and began cleaning the projector with a tight grip on the ladder. In order to spray the last vent with the compressed air can he would have to lean slightly off of the ladder, but fear gripped him and he simply did not trust that the ladder wouldn’t fall. He got out a little further than his faith in that ladder and dear ole’ dad.
This certainly was no dare devil stunt and both his feet were firmly on a rung about 6 1/2ft in the air. The ladder was squarely on the ground and there was no way that leaning 5 or 6 inches off the ladder would cause it to topple. I was more than twice his weight and a good foot taller at the time and knew it wouldn’t topple on me. Besides being and extremely strong, durable, commercial ladder, I was holding it. Still he couldn’t bring himself to reach just a little bit off the ladder.
Recognizing his fear and lack of confidence in me that I would ask him to do anything dangerous, I had him climb down until the terror in his eye subsided. Then I had him climb up to the second rung and with both feet and hands on the ladder lean back till his arms were full extended. He did that without any thought at all. He fully trusted the ladder and me right there. Then I had him climb one rung and repeat. Again, no difficulty and fearless. He continued his assent until he was there with his feet on the 7th rung about 6 1/2ft up. He hesitated slightly then leaned back. “Woo Hoo!” he shouted climbing down the ladder to grab the compressed air before climbing to complete his project fearlessly. What changed?
By incrementally increasing his exposer to the fear, his trust or faith in ladder and me holding it grew. It can be difficult to trust God in boat in the middle of a hurricane in the ocean, if you’ve never rowed around a lake. Grow your faith and confidence in God. Do it one verse at a time. Trust God for small things in accordance to your faith NOW! Keep feeding on His Word that produces faith in the hearer (Romans 10:17) then put it in action and believe God (Mark 11:22-24). Stay steady and it won’t be long before you can boldly say in any circumstance, “In God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid.”