As we continue to look at fear, our Scripture for today is Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (CSB) David is expressing his trust in God and that he is not fearful. According to the notes in my Bible, David wrote this when the Philistines had captured him in Gath. He is in the hands of the enemy, yet he is not fearful!
I think this is a lesson for us as Believers. Christians, those who have put their faith, trust, and hope in Jesus Christ to save them from their sins, do not need to be fearful. In fact, we should not be fearful! But I realize that we are human, and we are subject to the same kinds of fears as those who do not believe in Jesus. Sometimes I wonder how a Born-Again Believer can be so afraid of what is going on around them, or what MAY happen to them. Then I need to look back at times when I was fearful, and I need to step back and say, “Forgive me Lord for being judgmental.”
This past Sunday my Pastor gave an awesome sermon about being an overcomer. His reference Scripture was I John 5:4-5, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (NIV) He asked us a question, “What is an Overcomer?”, and then he gave us points that described what an overcomer is.
The first point is an overcomer acknowledges that there is a problem. Every day we face obstacles in our walk with the Lord. We need to realize that we face new problems, barriers, things that can cause us to fear, every day of our lives. So, what do we do about that? We need to have a commitment. A commitment to who or what? Our commitment must be to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must trust that He will see us through. What should we do with the circumstances in which we find ourselves? Evaluate our reaction to what is going on. Are we trusting Jesus or are we filled with fear? If we are in fear, then we are opening ourselves to attacks from the enemy of our souls. We must not allow him to overcome/overwhelm us with fear. We need to examine what is the problem. The problem is that we have an adversary, the Devil. He has a plan for us just like God has, and he uses the world (who opposes God and is against anything related to God and His will) to work that plan out. He uses sin, peer pressure, pain, suffering, sensuality and its pleasure, (yes, there is pleasure for a season), and anything and everything that opposes God.
The second description of an overcomer is that an overcomer applies the principle. What is the principle? According to I John 5:4, it is our faith. What does faith mean? It means trusting someone else. Faith in whom? Faith in God, faith that Jesus IS the Son of God, faith in the presence of God. When we have faith that Jesus will take care of us, that nothing can happen to us without His permission or knowledge, we have no room for fear. I decided to look up Scripture to reassure us that God has everything in His control. Lamentations 3:37-40 says, “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? Why should the living complain when punished for their sins? Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (NIV) Our faith also makes the power of God available to us. We must be plugged into God, to be in God’s plan, and realize that, He has His hand on us, and because of that we can overcome what we are going through. That faith in God to keep us through our circumstances is what gives us the power to overcome what is making us fearful.
The third point is that an overcomer accepts the promise – I can overcome! Remember God’s Word tells us that all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Because WITH GOD all things are possible, God gives us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) When we place our full trust in Jesus Christ, we have no reason to fear. We can accept Jesus’ promise to be with us, to walk with us, to help us, and then we can be overcomers and not live in fear. We can say with David, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” We can proclaim, “I am an overcomer!”