Summer in the Psalms – Emotion: Fear - Sunday, August 15, 2021

Brothers and Sisters, as we sail through the sermon series, “Summer in the Psalms”, we find ourselves anchored in Psalm 23. Here, King David reflected on his relationship as a shepherd with his sheep. He realized that it was precisely the relationship God had with him, and thus states, “Yahweh-Rohi is my Shepherd; nothing will be missing.” Isn’t that comforting to know? That as sheep we are within The Lord our Shepherd’s watchful care, we have no lack, we are not alone, and have no need to fear. WAIT! WHAT? NO FEAR?! Well, there are scenarios where we may find ourselves gorilla-glue-gripped by the type of fear that breaths terror, dismay, and dread.  The fear that diminishes one’s quality of life and keeps us from the freedom that is found in Christ.  But we don’t have to be.

In Psalms 23: 4 it is declared, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Our natural response, like sheep when walking through the valley of the shadow of death or the DARKEST VALLEY is of fear. The sheep knew that entering into a dark valley would be dangerous, but notice David shows us that we don’t have to respond this way. His perspective was one of reverential fear. The type of fear that God treasures. The fear that breaths honor, reverence, awe, worship and respect.

In my continual pursuit of knowledge and understanding, I created a poll and posed a question to a few individuals. My inquiry: “what issue today would be considered or perceived as walking through the valley of shadow of death or the darkest valley?” There was a consensus to the responses received: loneliness, loss of a job, mental breakdown, terminal illness, and loss of a loved one. One was slightly different.

 A woman stated that she would travel miles out of her way for more than 20 years to avoid the expressway. When she had no option, she would be stricken with fear and anxiety that she would die a horrible death on the Interstate. She shared that her father and Pastor, told her that she would be killed by a tractor trailer, if she kept ripping and running up and down the highway. Were his words prophetic? Was this a warning from God? Or was it a fearful father who feared for his daughter, and didn’t realize the weight and worth of his words to his adoring daughter? They never discussed this again.  He passed away and she relived those words every time she thought about taking the highway. Recently, because of the distance between where she lives and works, the Interstate is the best…only option. This woman said she prays Psalm 23 everyday, but Sunday’s message ignited the reverent fear of God into action realizing that Psalm 23:4 guides her travels and life. She…WE can choose to walk, drive, and live knowing that WE have ACCOMPANIMENT (we are not alone), ASSURANCE (we will come through it), and FOCUS (we minimize the dilemma and maximize the Deliverer). Peace is the absence of fear...where FAITH thrives FEAR diesthey cannot coexist…one has to go! Choose your fearTreasure? or Terror?

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