“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6
Somewhere in the distance I heard a siren. Buildings loomed on either side of us and my pulse quickened each time we passed an unlit alley. I was a boy at the time and my family was attending a night service at a church located in one of the sketchier parts of New York City. We all know that as children certain places and situations seem scarier than they might be for adults—so I felt a bit shaky—you know, like my knees were made of Jell-O. And, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to the car later that night.
After the church service, the pastor asked two of his deacons to escort us back to our car. These were two seriously big dudes. I felt no fear with a “church bouncer” on either side of us. I was sure they were larger and more intimidating than anything or anyone we would encounter.
Fear is a funny thing. It enlarges whatever we’re afraid of and shrinks our view of God. As Christians, we need to reclaim our view of God’s greatness by focusing on His presence, power, and protection when we are afraid.
I don’t know about you, but my fear tends to wither away when I remember that God is present everywhere, all the time. He has no boundaries. He is in New York City, east Mongolia, and the south of France, all at the same time! It’s clear that David had a great grasp of this reality when he said: “Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8). In the rest of that psalm, David affirms that whether it’s dark or light, morning or evening, or whether you are sleeping or awake, God is present.
It gets even better. Not only is God everywhere, but He is also all-powerful. He has unlimited power, and He delights in sharing it with you and me. If you are a follower of Jesus, you can access God’s power when you pray and ask Him to act on your behalf. You also draw on His power when you open the Word of God and discover how much He loves and cares for you, and how anxious He is to protect and help you. And you draw on the power when you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, words, and actions. In 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV, we read, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power.” Rest assured, God’s power can disarm any intimidating influence in your environment!
The combination of God’s presence and power make Him the greatest protector of all time. He alone has the power to keep you safe wherever you go, and He promises to never leave us or forsake us. If you’re walking in the light of that promise, you have the right to say, with confidence: “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
As a kid on that dark street in New York City, I was imagining all sorts of things that man could do to me. But when those two guys walked us back to our car, all fear was gone! They weren’t God, but I’ve often thought that they did what God does for me every day of my life no matter where I am. Keeping God’s enduring presence, infinite power, and supernatural protection in mind will take the Jell-O right out of your knees—every time!
- When do you feel afraid? How can God’s presence, power, and protection calm your fears? Take some time to write about this in your journal.
- Name some biblical responses to fear. Read Psalm 34:4; 1 John 4:18; for a hint. Practice using these responses when you are afraid. What do you think will happen over time if you use these responses consistently?
- Let God’s presence, power, and protection fuel your worship today. Find a new way to praise Him! Some ideas are: spend extended time in prayer, write Him a poem, sing Him a song, or encourage someone who is afraid.