March 13 - When Fear Comes, We Are to Trust in God and Be Obedient

By George Flattery

Today's Scripture: Psalm 56:3-4

Central Thought: Trusting in God is a great way to overcome fear.

    For many people, fear seems to be a regular part of life—even though it doesn't have to be. Fredd Culbertson has collected the names and descriptions of more than 500 fears ( He even sells a poster-sized version of the list for hanging on the wall. Mr. Culbertson claims that all of the phobias mentioned on his site can be found in reference books or in medical papers. Here are some of the unusual ones on the list: peladophobia—fear of bald people; geniophobia—fear of chins; aulophobia—fear of flutes; paraskavedekatriaphobia—fear of Friday the thirteenth; pentheraphobia—fear of mother-in-law; and pteronophobia—fear of feathers or being tickled by feathers.

    We face many fears in this world, both real and imagined, so it isn't surprising that the most frequent biblical command is to "fear not." Zechariah was a man of God who served God blamelessly. He and his wife were childless. One day as Zechariah was praying, he looked up and saw an angel standing to his right. What was Zechariah's reaction? He was startled and gripped with fear. 'But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John'” (Luke 1:13). Zechariah recovered enough to believe in God and trust in His plan for his life.

    Sometimes we are fearful about hearing God and going ahead with His plan for our lives. Fear can attack us. Intimidation from surprising sources can rear its ugly head. The Psalmist writes, 'When I am afraid, I will trust in you (God)” (Psalm 56:3). That brings to mind the old hymn we used to sing: 'Trust and obey, for there's no other way.” Trust and obedience are like two oars in the water. Both are necessary. When I am fearful, I need to move ahead in spite of my fears. One author says to move ahead (even when we are) afraid! Don't let fear keep you from experiencing the abundant life of Jesus Christ. Don't let fear keep you from fulfilling God's plan for your life.

    How can you do that? Admit your fears to God. Leave them in His hands. Trust in the promises of God, and move out! There is nothing that gives the enemy more of a fright than when we do not allow ourselves to be intimidated by him. It's so important that we realize this. After all, where would we be today if Zechariah had not moved ahead?

Devotional Prayer: Father, in the midst of my fears, I turn them over to You. I trust in Your promises, and I move ahead in faith knowing that You have everything under control.

Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 19:1-20:29; Luke 1:1-25; Psalm 56:1-13; Proverbs 11:8