Trusting God Despite Fear
Lisa Whittle, She Speaks Conference graduate

“But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NLT)

The beach is one of my favorite places. I love the water. I love to hear its mighty roar as it crashes onto shore. And I love to watch my children play in it, laughing and splashing while they try to “outrun” the waves.

Several years ago, my husband and I took Graham, our only child at the time, to the beach for a few days. He was excited to get there and play, and I was anxious to rest my eight-months-pregnant feet on the soft sand while my husband and child got some daddy-son time. I had only watched them for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep in my brightly-colored beach chair. I didn’t see the events of the next few minutes, but my husband remembers them quite vividly.

This beach was right on an intracoastal water way. Enormous cargo boats would pass by at a certain point everyday. For a two-year-old child, the “great big boat” was possibly the neatest thing he had ever seen in his young life. Graham was ecstatic. “Look , Daddy,” he said. “See the big boat?” “Yes, buddy. I see it.” My husband was thrilled to share the moment with his awestruck son.

Pretty soon, my husband noticed the undertow was starting to pull them out farther than he felt comfortable going. The power of the big boat had made quite an impact on the ocean water. While Graham continued to splash, my husband became afraid.

“Let’s go back in, closer to Mommy, okay?” His anxiety was intensifying as the subtle tug of water got stronger. As a young naïve child, Graham was oblivious to these concerns. Soon Daddy’s words became more commanding. “Come on, big guy. It’s time to go in now. Hold on to me, and I’ll carry you back to the shore.” He scooped up our son. With his little arms wrapped around daddy’s neck, Graham was holding on to his dad, and his daddy was holding on to him.

Life is unpredictable and dangers loom closer than we sometimes think. Undertows can sweep our feet from under us without warning at any time. But our God is ready, willing, and able to scoop us up into His mighty arms and carry us to a place of shelter, safety and ultimate security. He is our source, the only one we need, to rid us of all our deep anxieties and concerns. We must rely on him, and him alone, to save us.

I learned a verse when I was a young child: “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” It started out as one of the weekly verses my mother made me memorize to get a star on my “good behavior chart.” But over the years, Psalm 56:3 came to mean so much more.

As a child, I would recall this verse when I felt scared of the dark or if I’d had a bad dream. I said it when I thought I heard a noise or if I imagined a “bad guy” in my room. It helped me go back to sleep feeling less afraid. With years of life now under my belt and young children of my own, I am still quoting this verse. Gone are the days of the boogeyman but I still get scared. I get scared about my health, my children, and what tomorrow holds. When I do, I recite those ten precious and inspired words that seem as though they were written just for me. They help me to be less afraid when the darkness comes.

When you are facing your fear, whatever it is, God is asking you to hold on to Him. He in turn will hold on to you, and nothing will ever come between you.

Dear Lord, help me know You are near during those times I am afraid. I pray I will trust You when life sweeps me up in its undertow and threatens to harm me. May I learn to place my life in Your capable and strong hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman To Do by Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle

The Character of God: Understanding His Heart for Us by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer

Application Steps:
Submit yourself to the scrutiny of the Lord and ask Him to show you the areas of your life that are controlled by fear. Write them down and pray over each one, claiming the victory in your life by the power of God over each and every area.

Do I believe that God can be trusted with my life?

Do I believe He can help me overcome my fears?

Am I willing to relinquish control over the areas that concern me?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 12:2, “See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid.” (NLT)

1 John 4:18, “But perfect love expels all fear...” (NLT)

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Blogger Mommy Reg said...

Those who trust in the Lord cannot be shaken but endure forever like Mount Zion. It says so in Psalm 125. I am really learning to trust in the Lord and not to fear anything even as circumstances around me become uncontrolable (at least by me.) This hit me right in the heart as pure encouragement.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the day I read this, my mother called with her own fears of what was happening. I had been struggling with a fear of the unknown. Thank you so much for your timing. I shared it with her and was encouraged as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are times in ones life that something unaccepted will happen. Our son had been diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer in 2005, he had gone through a year of chemo treatment for over a year. We thought that everthing was going okay because his follow up test where clear no sign of the cancer, but between January and April of this year his cancer reoccurred, this was a time that we truly had to put our trust in God to help us make one of the hardest decision as parents in order to save our sons life through that trust we had to decide to have his leg amputated. Though we may not always understand why certain things happen in our life time as long as we put our trust in him we know that he will bring is through no matter how hard of a decision we have to make in life. GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD ALL OF THE TIME AND HE WILL NEVER FORSAKE US.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article, it blessed me and reminded me of something God whispered to me as I stood at midnight watching the waves crash on the shore at Monterey. Seeing and hearing those enourmous waves is a thrill, "Not one single drop of water goes where I do not want it to go."

that revelation was a tremendous blessing as I was feeling overwhelmed with fear about my responsibilities. With my 98 year old Mother and my Autistic Grandson, and my work duties, I sometimes feel like I will go under. But God is in control!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been anxious lately without having a reason. I have prayed and feel the Lord is saying "Ask for only one thing. The thing that will guide you and is more important then anything else...My Holy Spirit."

Anonymous Elle Bless said...

I just want to thank the writer of this devotion and everyone who posted for their encouragement. I'm going through some very difficult times right now but seem to battle between my mind and releasing what I can't control so that God can work. I try to lay the problems at his feet and them I pick them back up and get anxious again. The Anxiety turns into fear and then frustration, regret and anger. Reading this today has caused me to snap back, ask God to forgive me and realize that God's word is true and it's alive. I can't speak this word into my life and trust God to do the rest. Thank you again for your words of encouragement. God Bless you.

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