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The Mastery of Fear (Psalm 27:1-14)

Dr Daryl Miller, November 2, 2016
Part of the Out of Human Experiences series, preached at a Midweek Meeting service

WEDNESDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 2
Title: The Mastery of Fear
Text: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1).
Scripture Reading: Psalm 27
Introduction
Fear is one of the painful realities of our day. Modern psychology has coined more than seventy-five words based on variations of the Greek word phobia to describe our fears.
The psalmist had experienced some fearful situations. He had been tried and tempered by prevailing fears. Psalm 27 is a marvelous testimony of the mastery of fear. From these fourteen verses, we can learn how to control the numerous inward and outward fears of life.
I. Trust the Lord (Ps. 27:1?–?3).
The psalmist mastered his fears by trusting the Lord. His faith kept him from despair. Irrespective of raging fears, the psalmist trusted the Lord.

A. Trust in the present situation (v. 1). “The Lord is.” The psalmist used the present tense to show that in the time of trouble he considered God as his “light,” “salvation,” and “strength.” In all his bitter experiences, he discovered that trust in God kept him from being afraid. With God as the resource of his life, he had nothing of which to be afraid.
B. Trust in past experiences (v. 2). Looking back over his life, the psalmist wondered how he had mastered the enemies and foes of his life. He considered that God was greater than any of his enemies, and therefore he trusted the Lord.
C. Trust in future experiences (v. 3). The psalmist knew that trust in God was not protection against trial. Anything could happen?—?enemies, political oppression, or the horrors of war. Yet the psalmist affirmed that he would continue to trust.
You can master your fears by giving life to the care of God. He is capable of caring for all the assaults of life.
II. Meditate on God (Ps. 27:4?–?6).
The psalmist mastered his fears by meditating on the Lord. The more he learned of God, the less he feared.
A. See God’s beauty (v. 4). The psalmist wanted to “behold the beauty of the Lord.” The word translated “beauty” refers to the loveliness of God’s character. The psalmist filled his mind with the glorious truths of God, which would sustain him in the troubles and perplexities of life.
B. Search further after God (v. 4). The psalmist wanted to “enquire in [God’s] temple.” He wanted to be taught God’s ways. In the place of worship, we can have our minds enlightened. The more we know about God, the fewer perplexities we have.
The search will reveal some great truths about God. In time of danger, he will protect us. In the secrecy of our souls, he will be a dear Friend to us. He will give us a secure place. We will be able to rise above the fears (cf. 27:5?–?6).
C. Sing praises to the Lord (v. 6). The psalmist has found God to be greater than his fears; thus he shouts praises to God.
You can master your fears by meditating on the Lord. Preoccupation with yourself and your problems leads to devastating fears. Meditation on the Lord leads to serenity.
III. Pray to the Lord (Ps. 27:7?–?14).
The psalmist mastered his raging fears by honest prayer to God. He found that the fears were more than he could handle and submitted himself and his situations to God’s control. He made specific petitions in his prayers.
A. He asked God to listen (vv. 7?–?9). The psalmist wanted God’s attention. Though he trusted God and meditated on the Lord, he still felt that he must call on the Lord. The psalmist felt that even if his parents would not listen to his problem, the Lord would gladly listen.

B. He asked God for instruction and leadership (v. 11). He prayed that the Lord would teach him to act wisely.
C. He asked God for special strength (vv. 12?–?14). The psalmist’s life would be robbed of strength. The efforts of his enemies would be too strong. Therefore he prayed that God would give him strength to endure severe hardships.
You can master your fears by prayer. God will listen to your prayers and grant what you need.
Conclusion
The psalmist concluded his message in verse 14. He invited others to trust the Lord, to meditate on him, and to pray to him. In times of danger and difficulty, the Lord will uphold us. Instead of being weighed down in despondency and despair, we will rejoice in the Lord.

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Psalm 27:1-14

1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. 5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. 7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. 11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (KJV)

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