‘…whom shall I fear?’ Psalm 27.1
Psalm 27 is a beautiful psalm that addresses the whole issue of fear. It recommends overcoming fear by replacing it with something else – a focus on the greatness of God and his presence with us.
The psalm begins by exalting the greatness and wonder of God; there may be an enemy opposing us, maybe even an army, but the reality is that God is stronger. The light and salvation of God are greater than the darkness of any fear that we might experience. Then the psalmist moves on to consider how wonderfully safe and secure it would be to continually dwell in God’s presence, with him keeping us safe in times of trouble.
You may be thinking that this is easier said than done!
It is very hard to focus on God’s strength and proximity to us when fear has gripped us and is claiming all our attention. However, this is where practice comes in! In times of calm, practise worshipping God for his greatness, power and majesty, and acknowledge that he is close. Jesus said that he would never leave or forsake you, so get used to living in his presence. By doing this you will become accustomed to turning your thoughts to the wonder and presence of God, so when troubles arise you will do this quite naturally. When fear begins to surface it will not seem as bad, simply because your eyes will naturally be turned in a different direction.
Practice begins today! Take time to ponder the wonder and the greatness of God. This can be done any way you find helpful, perhaps by singing or listening to a song or reading a great psalm of praise. Do this until your vision is fixed on God and nothing else. Then take a moment to focus on his presence. Ask yourself where he is for you – in front of you, beside you, within you. It really doesn’t matter where you sense him, but consciously take time to enjoy his presence with you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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