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Singing Psalm 27 you overcome your fear

Singing Psalm 27 you overcome your fear first in finding it

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” ~ Luke 12:32

If you have a fear that is stronger than your trust in the triune God, his loving care for your heart will bring about circumstances for you to find and face it before you can overcome that fear. 

You can waste your fear by distracting yourself, doing anything to avoid it, following the path of least resistance, remaining in the dark about what is really going on inside you, or you can use it to make you pause, acknowledge, and examine precisely what it is that you fear. 

Singing Psalm 27 gives you insight to face that fear in light of God.

When you face your fear with God in his abiding presence, you gain a newfound trust in his ability to conquer even your greatest fear.

A word to sufferers on the path to find, face, and overcome your fear:

Have you ever found yourself conflicted, suffering, and with a choice before you? 

Jesus can relate. 

After deliberating, here is what he settled on: 

“Not my will, but thine be done.“

What was Jesus saying you should do with your deepest inner feelings that scream at you day and night, year after year, and moment-by-moment, when those feelings frighten you making you think you could never overcome your fear as they attempt to forcefully lead you to follow them rather than God? 

1 – Grin and bear it?2 – Resign yourself to a life of misery?3 – Twist yourself into a pretzel to submit outwardly, while suffering alone on the inside?4 – Throw in the towel, and say, “Not Thy will, but mine be done?“

The answer to number one is ‘no’ because it is dishonest. 

The answer to number two is ‘no’ because it leads to despair. 

The answer to number three is ‘no’ because you are not made to be independent and self-sufficient in your aim to follow God. 

The answer to number four is ‘no’ because it is faithless. It’s saying, “God can’t be trusted to heal or to make me happy so I must do it myself.“ 

Except, try as you might, you can’t. 

Why not? 

Because you didn’t make yourself, you don’t know what you really want, what is really best for you, or who you really are. 

Since God made you, only he knows those things. 

Contrary to conventional wisdom, no matter how accomplished, well-read, or in-touch you are, you are not the expert on you. The one who made you is the expert on you.

God tailor-makes your suffering as a refining tool out of love for you at great cost to himself. He is with you in every millisecond of your pain as he chisels out the ‘you’ he is making you to be in love.

So what can you do with relentless inner feelings that terrorize you, driving you to take the reins of your life yourself rather than entrusting your life to God? What can you do when you sense something is deeply wrong inside, when every inclination of your heart is to fix it now or find someone or something to fix it now, when your tears and throat have dried up from your continually crying out?

5 – When your heart condemns you like this, you take every feeling, raw and honest, one step closer to God who is full of compassion and who is greater than your heart. You take it to him in a way that you couldn’t take it to anyone else.*

Number five is the answer that is ‘yes’ in Christ and is the starting point on the path for you to overcome your fear.

Only he can handle, manage, rightly judge, redeem, and transform every raw, honest, and even rogue feeling. Only he can shine light gently enough on your deceitful desires and, in stages, replace them with desires that align with his good, pleasing, and perfect will to become who he is making you to be.

Singing the psalms and Psalm 27 in particular helps you know that God puts courage in you to overcome your fear even when he seems to have abandoned you. You trust him with your heart that he made, to lead you through the shadow of the valley of death and into green pastures though you can’t see him doing it.

Then you take another step closer to God and you trust him deeper.

Eventually, you trust that he will reward you for seeking him. You stop looking to yourself for the reward.

You look to him to save you knowing you aren’t meant to save yourself nor are you able to.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  You fear him in reverence for all you know he could do, for all he does, and for all he doesn’t do. You don’t have a craven fear of the judge who is at the same time your redeemer.

To overcome your fear, it comes down to this: 

Will you marvel that your judge is also your redeemer who takes your literal life sentence for you? Will you trust the infinite, all-knowing, loving, able God to help you identify, acknowledge, face, and overcome your fear? Will you believe that in his compassion he will lead you to be true to him and to yourself as he is making you who you are to be?

-or-

Will you refuse to seek him to help you overcome your fear? Will you remain in your unidentified, unacknowledged, unexplored fear, unaware and blind to its influence on your thinking? Will you trust yourself as the one who is making you who you are to be, based on finite, faulty human reasoning with holes you can’t see, led by rogue feelings bent on mastering you, devised by spiritual forces of evil?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,    and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him,    and he will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Singing Psalm 27 you overcome your fear with a new mindset to relinquish control

A thought for sufferers wanting to help fellow sufferers, to overcome your fear:

If you know someone struggling to come up for air in this way and want to help, you can take a step closer to God to guard against communicating mere technical correctness about God. 

You want to be careful to pull alongside as a fellow sinner and sufferer being careful not to join them in their confusion, misunderstanding, or sin. You overcome your fear so as not to come across as separate from but with the person you are trying to help.

Singing Psalm 27 can help you to overcome your fear enough to be tenderhearted, to avoid presenting yourself in a smug, non-relatable way that shouts “I am better than you!“ even while words to the contrary are coming out of your mouth. 

Jesus was one with the Father and out of that unity he gave both truth and compassion in perfect balance to sinners, even his enemies. Jesus can help you overcome your fear of those who sin differently than you do. The temptation is to retreat emotionally and draw lines in the sand with what you perceive as the good guys on one side and bad guys on the other. 

Image bearers have murdered other image bearers in their minds or in actuality because they thought that they were the good guys wiping out the bad guys. Image bearers hate other image bearers because they love their sin more than they love God and don’t want to be told about it.

More than sacrifice, God desires a broken and contrite heart, a broken spirit in his people who know they need him and depend on him. You come to love God’s law and overcome your fear of it as it was put in place to protect the weak and oppressed. God’s justice is laced in mercy which triumphs over judgment. You speak truth in love to one another leaving it for God to judge and to redeem. 

O Holy Spirit of God, give your people wisdom to know when to apply: “Who are you to judge your brother?“ and  “Make a right judgment.” 

The only one on the good guys side is Jesus. The rest of us sinners are on the bad guys side. If this is not the foundation from which we speak, we might actually be inadvertently inciting brutal or hypocritical imbalances that utterly distort the beautiful unity and diversity of the triune God and of the people he created for himself.

Lord, will you please make your people emotionally honest?

When you remember that your holiness comes from what Jesus did on the cross for you, you will keep your specific besetting sins in the forefront of your mind to help you to communicate soberly, compassionately as you speak the truth in love to serve fellow sufferers.

You are called to care as Jesus cares, not as a distant expert. You are called to lay down your life for your friends and at the same time live to please God and not your friends. You are called to love your enemies.

“By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another.”

A word for both sufferers and sufferers wanting to help fellow sufferers, to overcome your fear:

You can honestly come to Jesus when you are weary and burdened. He is gentle and lowly. 

You can ask him to help you with everything, small or large.

“You don’t have because you don’t ask.“

You don’t ask because you think you know how to solve the thing yourself and don’t really need God.

You ask but don’t receive when your goal is to please yourself rather than God. 

If this is the case, you fail to realize that when you strive to please God, he gives you pleasure so deep within and so satisfying that words don’t do it justice. Suddenly everything you were afraid you wouldn’t get that you thought you must have and everything you were afraid would happen that you didn’t want to happen dissipates in comparison.

You overcome your fear right there in your suffering. You find knowing him, intimacy with him places a sweet buffer between your heart and your pain. Knowing him, you find your home in him. 

Nothing can take that away from you.

No circumstance can shake it.

No person or spiritual force of evil can touch it.

No price is great enough that you would sell it.

His presence causes you to rise above and overcome your fear to give him yourself, your heart, your all.

God doesn’t exist to please you. You exist to please him, and he longs to be gracious to you giving you:

“Peace that passes understanding.“

“Joy that fills to overflowing.”

“Love that surpasses knowledge.”

Taste and see that the Lord fully satisfies. He is your all in all. If you give him your whole heart, continue to seek him, and wait on him, you will overcome your fear and see the light of day as Jesus did. 

With each step he took toward the cross to pay for your sin out of love for you, he was one step closer to bringing himself and all who would trust him to an incomparably, unimaginably abundant life that never ends. 

You overcome your fear in solidarity with Jesus who brings you home to be with him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit forever. Remember how God rescued his people from their oppressors, how he fought for them and called them only to be still, to utterly depend on him? 

The meekest man to ever walk the earth next to Jesus allowed his frustration with God’s people’s incessant complaining to influence him to disobey God. He lost sight of God and took matters into his own hands. At that precise moment, Moses acted independently from God as if he was God.

When Moses struck the rock the second time when God commanded him to speak to it, he did not honor the Lord as God. For that attitude he was not permitted to enter the promised land on earth. 

Moses bore these earthly consequences but still had every hope that God would take him into the everlasting promised land, and indeed his hope was not disappointed.

That same grace enables you to overcome your fear of being influenced by those who incessantly trigger you to act independently from God as if you are God and who would draw you away from the true God. Your hope also will not be disappointed.

God controlled the state of the manna by his word and how he would bring water from the rock by his word. What then ought to control the lives of his people? Not governments, not groups, not cultures or societies, but every word, every command that comes from the Lord your God who made you.

Father, would you please transform the habits of your people? Would you give us clarity to read your word each day while seeking your face? Would you place your people in a church where they can hear it faithfully preached, follow Jesus, and obey your word?

Some come to be who God is making them to be in a smooth line, like the rising sun.

Others come to be who God is making them to be in a jagged line like lightning.

Both glorify God in that he makes you as he pleases and when he pleases.

Are you okay with that?

God helps you overcome your fear with a new mindset to relinquish control because with each passing moment you are more and more convinced that he is true to his word and brings life from death. 

When he opens your eyes and ears you overcome your fear because you are convinced that he is true to his word that he is making all things new and that neither things present nor things to come can separate you from his love, you will marvel at that.

“You keep him in perfect peace    whose mind is stayed on you,    because he trusts in you.” ~ Isaiah 26:3

Singing Psalm 27 you overcome your fear by finding Christ in your fear

As a little girl, my dad revealed to me that he had always wanted a boy and that my name was supposed to be Kenneth. He had a faint smile on his face when he told me but I remember the disappointment in his eyes as he looked away from me and revealed his broken heart.

Running track, watching the Knicks win with him, I was determined to please him even better than a son would. These were just a couple of my attempts to overcome my fear of not being good enough for him.

It was never enough. 

I cheered too loudly during the game and annoyed him. When I was 10 years old, he took me to Madison Square Garden. He asked me to hold his hand, and I didn’t want to because I wanted to show him that I was capable of doing it by myself. I got tangled up on the escalator when I fell and boy was he mad.

Through the years, he would bring up his sad state lamenting that he never got his son, Kenneth. He never knew his father and was not close to his adoptive father. Beneath his despair was his yearning for a father/son relationship.

Beginning at age 21, Christ began showing me who he is. A few years after responding to his call to follow him, I caught myself thinking as a man would in ways that frightened me. To say I felt out of place with others at work and at church would be an understatement. I was just learning how to think about God but didn’t yet know how to think about myself or others. 

Only much later did I understand that Jesus was taking hold of me and was in the process of helping me sort out who he made me to be, who I was, and who he would make me to be. He clued me in that I was to learn from him, to follow him, to serve others, and to stop trying to be better than others all the time.

The song, “All I Ever Have to Be” touched my heart in a way that began my acceptance of who God made me. It also was a turning point when I realized his beauty and embraced who he is. Christ freed me from endless striving to embrace myself and see myself as beautiful to no avail.

He caught my attention and my affection. He averted my eyes from myself to him. Once I got a glimpse of him, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life gazing on the Lord Jesus Christ, forever captivated by his strength, beauty, courage, and compassion.

In his mind, Jacob’s dear son, Joseph, was dead to him for decades. It seemed that Jacob did not know that God heard his cries as he mourned for his son and yearned for a relationship with him. 

If Jacob was asked, “Do you think you will ever see your son, Joseph, again in this life?” What is the probability that he would say anything but, “No, what are you, crazy?“ He did not know that God was intimately with his son, Joseph. He did not know that God chose Joseph as his instrument to save him, his family, and countless others from the famine. 

It’s just like the Lord to pleasantly surprise him and restore Joseph to him. God not only gave Jacob that relationship but a relationship with Joseph’s two sons. He called them his own just as if they came from his own body.

For two decades, Joseph was lost to Jacob, but for the last two decades of his life on earth and for eternity, he was found to Israel.

I don’t know if my dad ever came to know the Lord Jesus, but if we meet again in the new heavens and the new earth, I’d be pleased with whatever name he would call me whether Karen, Casey, Kenneth, or Baby Elephant. He’d have my full attention as I’d look up and answer to any of ‘em even with a tight embrace and a smile from ear-to-ear. 

Here’s part of what my dad wrote to me in a card he sent not long before he died at age 60: “I have learned so much from you.” What I hope he learned from me is to hope in Christ alone.

Perhaps as the distinctions between Jew and Greek, and slave and free were abolished from the old covenant to the new covenant, the distinction between male and female will also be absent in the next age, in the new heavens and the new earth.

“For through [Christ] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” ~ Ephesians 2:18

At least the propensity for comparing and competing attitudes of superiority and inferiority that have often accompanied this particular distinction since the fall of mankind, will no longer exist. Our identities will not be bound up with it but with the triune God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

We do know that then we will no longer be married, or given in marriage, but will be transformed to be like the angels in heaven.

“Christ is all, and in all.”

One day, Christ, the bridegroom, will bring his bleeding, broken bride, his body, his church, and make her completely one with him and each other. She will no longer be a kicking and screaming infant, fractured, splintered, divided, callous, and self-important. She will be blissfully one with her maker, her husband.

He will take every ugly thing and restore it, making it beautiful, far more impressive than any home improvement episode on HGTV.

Until then, Lord, would you please let each of us look to you to please you as you build your church in your way and in the time and place of your choosing? 

“By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another.” 

Father, please, would you let us not be loose bricks but bind us together as one by the love of Christ to the living stones that you place near and around us? Would you guide your people to agree on the truth of your word, each one grateful that you relinquished your liberty and right to end your suffering before completing it to your death out of your love for your people?

“And all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words that the LORD has spoken, we will do.‘“ ~ Exodus 24:3

Christ is building his church, the only group that will last forever. 

And the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Meanwhile, you take heart as you wait for Christ to overcome your fear. He will help you not to waste your suffering with it because he has overcome the world.

When I begin to feel downcast, singing Psalm 27 brings me to the Lord himself who takes me as his own.

I am blown away that I get to learn from those around me as we share in our walks with the Lord through our unique paths of losing ourselves and finding ourselves in him. The Lord sets the lonely in families within his family to walk together through our fear to hope in Christ alone.

Christ even uses your fear to bring about many good things, most importantly, to bring you to the end of yourself that you would seek his face.

There is one fear not to be overcome.

It is good, right, and healthy to be afraid to not trust the triune God with all that you are and to resolve to run to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the very moment you are hit with temptation to trust in anything or anyone else that would cause you to stumble and stray from his ways.

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence, but much more in my absence, workout your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God, who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” ~ Philippians 2:12-13

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.“ ~  1 Thessalonians 5:23

“Having loved his own, who were in the world, he loves them to the end.” ~ John 13:1

Lord, our God, since not one of us can spread our confusion, misunderstandings, and sins to the dimensions of your grace, would you help your people to trust you wholeheartedly and to never stop trusting you?

And the Lord himself will give you your name – the perfect name that he has for you. For now, you use your given name, nicknames others have given you, or the name of your choosing through turbulent seasons until the time comes that he settles you in himself forever.

You overcome your fear by finding Christ in your fear.

Every breath is not a breath you take but a gift from the triune God. May he bring each one of his straying sheep into his fold to worship him with each breath, so that by his grace, you would overcome your fear and dedicate yourself to feed his sheep.

“He who began a good work in you will see it to completion in Christ Jesus.”

Seeking to please God, the Father, in Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit, with all your heart — it is always enough.

He is enough.

He is enough to make you happy.

“I ask the LORD and seek    This one thing to obtain:That in the LORD’s house I may live,   And ever there remain,

“To gaze upon the LORD,    His beauty to admire;And in His temple I would stay    To ponder and inquire.

“He’ll hide me in his tent    When comes the evil day.He’ll set me high upon a rock;    I’ll in His shelter stay.

“O hear my voice, LORD, when I cry,    And answer me in grace.When You said, ‘Seek my face,’ my heart    Said, ‘LORD, I’ll seek your face.’ 

“My father and my mother both    May leave me all alone,But surely, then, the LORD Himself    Will take me as His own. 

“O LORD, teach me to follow You;    Instruct me in your way,And lead me on a level path    Because of foes, I pray!

“Oh! What if I had not believed!    I am, by faith, assured That in the land of life I’ll see    The goodness of the LORD. 

“With patience wait upon the LORD,    O let your strength be great;And so let courage fill your heart    As on the LORD you wait.” ~ Psalm 27:4-5, 7,10-11,13-14

* For more on how to overcome your fear and know for certain that you have eternal life overcoming your fear of death, you will be richly blessed by this message on the Bible’s answer to doubt by Pastor Adam Mumpower, Church of the Redeemer

February 3 – 10, 2023


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