I want to talk about some simple truths regarding how to overcome a troubled, fearful heart. If we take the Lord’s words to heart, they will transform our lives and help us face all circumstances.
At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and unfolded the truth about what was going to happen: his arrest and crucifixion; the apostles’ fearful reactions; and later, the persecution and deaths of the apostles themselves. Jesus wanted to give them the peace and strength they needed for the calling He was giving them and the opposition they were going to experience.
Imagine Jesus speaking to you. Take his words into your heart and have peace in Him. He said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The world intimidates, threatens, and abuses—but Jesus says we can have hearts filled with good cheer, courage, and confidence in God. Everyone’s afraid of death, but Jesus swallowed up death in victory, and his life is in you.
Consider the story of David and Goliath. While Israel’s army was troubled by the sheer size of their enemy, David considered how great, magnificent, majestic, and unstoppable God is. David said,
I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head . . . that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand. (1 Sam 17:45-47)
David wasn’t worried about the size of the enemy; his heart was filled with zeal for how great God is. We must keep this in mind, because in times like this—with wars, troubles in the Church, and division and weakness in our political situation—it’s almost like David seeing Goliath. Our first response could be logical: “This is real trouble.” We need to step back and remember that everything is in the hands of our great and loving Father.
Let what David says in Psalm 145 be your disposition:
I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of thy majesty, and on thy wondrous works, I will meditate. Men shall proclaim the might of thy terrible acts, and I will declare thy greatness. (Ps 145:1-6)
When you experience fear of the enemy, gaze into God’s Word and creation, and the Holy Spirit will help you. Bless the Lord out loud in your home. People today speak of so much trouble, fear, and anxiety—but remember that in his wisdom, our infinitely loving Father put you on this planet for this time. He has a plan for you. If you operate out of a heart filled with the awareness of God’s greatness, and you speak it out and trust in Him, He will fulfill his purposes and do something great in your life.
This doesn’t mean we won’t live through hardships; these promises don’t say that nothing difficult will ever happen to us. The apostles remind us, however, to not be afraid of trial and suffering. Jesus Himself said,
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. (Lk 6:22-23)
When we stand up in loving witness to the truth, God’s glory comes upon us. Let’s work every day in our relationships to live out of the gaze of the greatness and beauty of God.