“I Shall not be Afraid”

“Faith conquers fear.”

I read these words tonight in a study I am doing called “Breaking Free from Fear”. As I reflected on this short and simple statement, something struck me: I believe that the statement is true, and yet, I have never really seen this truth actualized in my life.

In my life, it seems like fear conquers all. Because of fear, rational thinking goes out the window. Because of fear, I become unable to cope in the silliest situations. Because of fear, my body decides that it doesn’t have to do what the sensible side of my brain knows it should.

I believe faith conquers fear, but I don’t experience that. Why? Does this mean that I don’t have enough faith? Am I somehow doing it all wrong?

Maybe it’s not about having enough faith, but maybe it’s about the object of my faith. I say that I have faith in God. I say that I trust Him and that I believe He is bigger than any of my fears. But do I… really?

Maybe, without realizing it, I’ve been putting my faith in… well… my faith. Maybe I think that having enough faith is the key to conquering fear. So I just keep trying harder and harder to get more faith. But that’s the problem—I keep trying. I keep expecting my efforts to pay off for me. But my efforts are not what it’s about. It’s not about me having enough faith. It’s about the fact that God is enough for me.

In Psalm 56, David (the author) talks about the unrelenting troubles he’s facing in life. He is exhausted from fighting for his life day and night, and is deeply burdened by sorrow. And yet, he chooses faith. He convinces himself that his fear must become subservient to his faith in God: “In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid” (verse 4).

He declares that fear will not rule over him, because the object of his faith is greater than his fear.

Maybe David had more faith than I do. Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe he had just enough to cling to something bigger than his own faith—the fact that God can do anything. The fact that God had delivered him before, and the fact that God was for him.

I need to remember this too. God is for me. And if I’m going to conquer fear, if I’m going to become braver than before, I am going to need to let go and trust that God’s got it. All of it.

And I shall not be afraid.

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