Today we examine the subject of fear. Many Old Testament scholars believe that this Psalm should be titled, “The Silent Dove in Distant Places.” Psalm 56 is a twin passage to Psalm 34.
We Serve a God Who Understands Our Fears: v. 1-4
“Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. 2My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. 3When I am afraid, I will trust in you.4In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
1. Fear is a natural response to constant opposition.
A. Holy fear.
B. Self-preserving fear.
C. Slavish fear.
*The three types of fear can be found in a book by Carol Kent, Fear Factors.
2. Faith is the spiritual response to human fears.
“Our fears recede as we come to know Him better and view our circumstances in light of His promises and plans.”
Faith in God Requires an Active Commitment from Every Believer: v. 5-11
“All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. 6They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life. 7On no account let them escape; in your anger, O God, bring down the nations. 8Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll are they not in your record? 9Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. 10In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise 11in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
1. Fear is one of Satan’s primary weapons .
2 Timothy 1:5-7
2. Fear must be identified before God can intervene.
3. Faith in the power of prayer is the way to experience deliverance from fear.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Thanksgiving Is the Only Valid Way to Praise God for Victory Over Fear:
“I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. 13For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
1. Thanksgiving cultivates an attitude of invincibility .
2. Thanksgiving reminds our fears that God keeps His promises .
Fear not; I am with thee. Oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
How Firm a Foundation, John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787