How to “Face” Your FearsDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
In Psalm 27, David's poetry reflects his own struggle with fear. In the first verse, he asks "Whom shall I fear?" The answer comes in the following verses. David might fear the "wicked" who are trying to "devour" him or the "army" that is besieging and surrounding him (27:2-3, 6). He might be afraid of the "foes" who are "spouting malicious accusations" against him (27:12).
Have you ever felt afraid? I expect so, since fear is common to all human beings. Perhaps you were afraid in situations where you had literal enemies, where people were seeking to take your life. But even if you have never been in such dire straits, you probably know what it's like to have metaphorical enemies advancing against you and seeking to devour you. Your "enemies" might have been stressed over too much to do, hopeless situations at work, family conflict, or economic hardship. Maybe the army besieging you was a powerful addiction or deep depression.
What should we do when fear invades our hearts? We find an answer in Psalm 27. In verse 7, David calls out to the Lord, asking to be heard with mercy. Then David adds, "My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, LORD, I will seek." In the Psalms, God's face represents his presence and favor. Seeking God's face means desiring relationship with him. It means turning your attention to God, looking for him, speaking to him, opening your heart to him.
So, if you'll pardon a pretty awful pun, Psalm 27 shows us how to "face" our fears. We do so, at first, not by being courageous, not by crafting a plan, not by looking on the bright side, not by running away. Rather, we face our fears by seeking the face of God, by turning to him with heart, soul, mind, and strength. In God and God alone will we find peace and confidence to live for him each day.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
When you feel afraid, what do you do? In what ways do you seek God's face? How have you experienced God's presence in the midst of scary situations? Are you facing fears right now, fears that should drive you to a deeper relationship with the Lord?
Merciful God, how I thank you for being there when I seek you. Thank you for being so patient, so faithful, so trustworthy, so kind.
Lord, when I am afraid, may I turn to you. May I seek your face. May I find comfort and hope in you.
Thank you, O God, for making your face known to me in so many ways, most of all in Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray, Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.