My Fear Has No Vote
A Meditation on God’s Kindness to Us in Times of Distress
I said in my alarm,
‘I am cut off from Your sight.’
But You heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to You for help.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!
God leads His people, from time to time, far beyond their own capacity into deserts of various kinds. If you feel like He has left you, that’s normal. Tell him. Say in your alarm, ‘I am cut off from Your sight.’ The Psalms are a handbook on how to talk to God.
For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)
‘God will not give you more than you can handle’ is a lie. Yes, He will. He will take you to the end of yourself, and then far beyond that. This is normal discipleship. Paul’s experience included being overwhelmed even to the point of despairing of life itself. There will be times when we also will feel that things God has allowed are far beyond our ability to endure.
O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me,
Many are saying of his soul,
There is no salvation for him in God.
But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the lifter of my head.
Satan always accuses God’s people, trying to make us believe we are not really the Lord’s. He will tell you that your fear is evidence that you have no faith. He will tell you that your anxiety is proof that you don’t have the Holy Spirit. These are lies. But the Lord Jesus always lives to intercede for us. He Himself is our shield.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
My fear has no vote in determining outcomes. If I say I will be overcome and lost, it doesn’t make it so. God determines my steps and my destiny. He is my Shepherd. It is for Him to set times, seasons and boundaries. My fear cannot alter the faithfulness of God or nullify His purposes for me. My anxiety has no power to determine what will become of me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
And the light about me be night,’
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
The night is bright as the day,
For darkness is as light to You.
I need not fear a darkness I cannot find my way out of. Jesus knows the way. He can see in the dark.
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Even if I become like a wild animal, like Nebuchadnezzar did—out of my mind, incapable of sound reason—even then I am always with Christ. He holds me no matter my condition. Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, or other mental illness cannot alter God’s love. I don’t have to think clearly enough for God to hold me. I don’t have to keep my emotions stable enough for Him to love me and stay with me. I cannot mess up badly enough that it would cause Him to let go of me. Even if I forget my own name, the Lord will remember me. “Never will I leave you or forsake you.”
My confidence is in God. “From now on we put no confidence in the flesh.”
Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
God knows we will feel like He has forgotten us. He understands. And so, like a loving Father taking a trembling child in His lap, He invites us to pour out our hearts to Him because He cares for us.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.”
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
If you belong to Christ by faith in His cross, take courage today. The Lord promises to be with us always, even to the end of the age. You are in the palm of His hand. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ.
If you have not yet come to Jesus, is today your day? Confessing your sin, receive by faith His forgiveness and cleansing, casting all your confidence on the grace of God.
His righteousness is given freely to all who trust Him for it. It is a gift you could never earn or deserve. You don’t have to get your act together first, any more than you need to clean up before taking a shower. All you have to do is lay down your excuses and your pride, and surrender to the Savior.
“Come to Me, all who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”