Welcome back to our study of different Psalms and how they can strengthen and help us overcome fear. We continue to look at David’s heart coming out in these beautiful Psalms, remember, David dealt with some incredibly scary moments and today will be no different!  We really built this whole teaching off of a line from a really challenging moment of David’s life.  Do you remember the line?  This one sentence can really help us understand the key to overcoming fear.

1 Samuel 30:7 But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. ESV

The key to overcoming fear is surrendering your life to God.  It’s seeking God first.  It’s coming to Jesus to find peace.  It’s taking all of our stress and worry to him as Paul encouraged us to do.  It’s going to God who is love who casts out all fear.  It’s exactly why David could press on in the face of this terrible moment…because David strengthened himself in the Lord.

So overcoming fear isn’t about David’s personality.  It isn’t his circumstances.  It isn’t his IQ score.  He can overcome fear because of what he turns to when he is afraid, and it will once again clearly come out in today’s passage.  Today we will be in Psalm 34, another David Psalm.  This poem was written about another time where David was in a very intense spot and had to face and overcome fear.  He was fleeing for his life from King Saul and ended up in Gath but the King of Gath realized this was David who was a big warrior and on the run from Saul.  David was called to King Achish and escaped by pretending to be insane…and interesting moment for sure.  Now I know you aren’t on the run from a King but as we read through this together ask yourself what this poem says to your heart.  What could it mean for you.  So once again if you have your Bibles and something to write with we can’t get started!  We are going to read Psalm 34:4-7 this time in the NLT and then the NIV.

Psalms 34:4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.  5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. 6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. 7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. NLT

Check out the NIV now, I love the word “sought” in verse 1 reminds me of Jesus later saying, seek first.

Psalms 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. NIV

Now I would like to ask you some questions, so again today take the time to reflect intentionally on this Psalm and these questions.

  • What is your favorite verse in Psalm 34? 
  • What can you take from this passage as I walk through fear and difficulty in my own life?
  • Take a moment and think through the word “prayed” in verse 1 of the NLT, and “sought” in the NIV.  What does that mean to you?  What does that say about a true heart for God?
  • How secure can we feel if the Angel of the Lord is surrounding and defending us?
  • Who saved David?  Are you noticing a theme to all David’s victories?  Who wins them?

Before you move on from this moment, take some time and pray, talk to your Heavenly Father about what it looks like to turn to God, and to find strength in Him.

Remember David lived a surrendered life, not a perfect life, and we know he is a man who strengthened himself in the Lord.  We want to be people who strengthen ourselves in the Lord, people who turn to God in the difficult and anxious moments of our lives.  Please continue to reflect on this idea throughout your day.  What does it look like to strengthen yourself in the Lord?  When you look at your own life what is it that you turn to in the challenging moments when you feel fear?  Identify it, because you are turning to something.  You can overcome fear, and that only happens when we turn to God for strength.