“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
This is a brief, simple verse that’s packed with profound, rich comfort for you and me today. In many ways, David had many fears. In many ways, David had much around him pressing him to be fearful of. However, David was also a man, by the grace of God, who knew where he needed to go, who he needed to turn to when he was afraid. That knowledge was strengthened and reinforced by the outcome of his seeking Him.
See how David sought the Lord in his distress. His seeking was intentional. There was an occasion for his seeking. There was a purpose for his seeking. David prayed to the Lord, begging for help, solace, and peace. David’s action should encourage us to continue to go to the Lord in our times of distress and need – faithfully and regularly – or, if you’re not doing so, to start. Doing so is a struggle as we’re drawn to spin out in fear in our own minds, or seek others, before we seek the Lord. It’s true that God uses people in our lives to be instruments of His grace and comfort. But the more we realize and know who is the true and lasting source of our peace is, the more we will be intentional in going to Him. All the while remembering that God calls us to come to Him (1 Peter 5:7).
So, David sought his Lord in prayer and what did he say happened? God heard him. Our God is ready to hear the prayers of His people. This is such a great comfort, isn’t it? You may feel lost, crushed, and alone in your fear. You may feel like no one listens to you, or hears you, though you scream. Maybe you feel like your fear is too great to share that even well meaning and supportive friends and family couldn’t handle it. Considering any or all of these feelings, know you have the ear of the living God. We all need to have that truth sink in more and more in our minds and hearts. We all need to be more ready and active in praying to Him, as He is ready to listen and hear us. God heard David. He hears you too, Beloved. Go to Him consistently in your distress, with your fears.
What was the glorious outcome of David’s pursuit and prayer? Not only did God hear David, but He also answered him immediately, delivering him from all of his fears. God delivers His people. We know this. We talk about it a lot. But this is even more grand of a comfort! Note that David wasn’t delivered from to all of the fear inducing circumstances he experienced. However, he was delivered from all his fears. For sometimes it feels like we can’t escape the heavy weight of fear. We may try to face our fear to get out from under them. Yet, we can’t do it on our own. What God shows and teaches us is that we truly and ultimately need rescue and deliverance! Christ has delivered us from bondage to sin, including fear. He delivers us when it arises in our hearts. Only He can give us true and lasting peace within in the midst of the storm without.
How does God often do this? You’re called to remember God’s providence working for you and His grace working in you to silence your fears and calm the waves that are crashing within. Importantly, we’re also called to remember to cast our anxieties on Christ through prayer. Seek the Lord when fears rise, my friends. Matthew Henry said wisely, “David’s prayers helped to silence his fears; having sought the Lord, and left his case with him, he could wait the event with great composure.” The same is true for you. Have you sought the Lord? Do your fears seem to linger? Continue to seek Jesus. Stay before God’s throne of grace in prayer. Your Savior will answer and deliver. He will lift you up.