Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Greatest Need: Rescue from Fear

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7).

Excerpt from "Prayer of Gratitude for the Rescue of God” – 2011-04-03
Aside from our own experiences with God, there is nothing more powerful than hearing the personal testimony of others as to how God sovereignly responds with mercy and grace to someone in need. Again, David humbly acknowledges it was God who rescued him from his difficult struggle. David prayed and God “answered . . . and delivered.”

David tells us that God delivered him from all of his “fears.” What is significant here is that David is not stressing his deliverance from the danger being executed by Abimelech; what David is stressing is his deliverance from all of his “fears.” There is no doubt that David expected he would find himself in dangerous situations. Those who are committed to living for God will find themselves opposed by evil and living against the grain of the world. Jesus himself said: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account" (Matthew 5:11).

In verse 19 David writes: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.” The righteous of God should expect affliction. But God promises He will deliver His own out of dangerous situations - just as He removed David from the hand of Abimelech. But sometimes the way God delivers His own out of dangerous situations is simply to be with us in our dangerous situation. In Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses told God’s people: "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” David prayed he would be delivered from his “fears” so whether he was removed or remained in a dangerous situation, his countenance would reflect his trust in God: “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

David understood that even if he was rescued, that wouldn’t stop his “troubles.” The Philistines would continue to despise the Israelites; when given the opportunity, Abimelech would come after David again. Followers of Jesus do not live their lives devoid of trouble. Yet God promises he will protect us by saving and delivering us from being defeated by our troubles: “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” Our protection is the presence of God - “the angel of the Lord.” In any circumstance and every situation we can praise God knowing that He will save and deliver us when we humbly and desperately seek His presence in our time of greatest need.
LISTEN TO THE FULL SERMON HERE –