When I Am Afraid

By Christin Ditchfield Lazo

A Reading from Psalms 56, 57

Psalm 56

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
for my enemies are hounding me;
all day long they assault and oppress me.

2 They hound me all the day long;
truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

3 Whenever I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.

4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not be afraid,
for what can flesh do to me?

5 All day long they damage my cause;
their only thought is to do me evil.

6 They band together; they lie in wait;
they spy upon my footsteps;
because they seek my life.

7 Shall they escape despite their wickedness?
O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.

8 You have noted my lamentation;
put my tears into your bottle;
are they not recorded in your book?

9 Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight;
this I know, for God is on my side.

10 In God the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not be afraid,
for what can mortals do to me?

11 I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;
I will present to you thank-offerings;

12 For you have rescued my soul from death and my feet
from stumbling,
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

Psalm 57

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
for I have taken refuge in you;
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
until this time of trouble has gone by.

2 I will call upon the Most High God,
the God who maintains my cause.

3 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will confound those who trample upon me;
God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.

4 I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue a sharp sword.

5 They have laid a net for my feet,
and I am bowed low;
they have dug a pit before me,
but have fallen into it themselves.

6 Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,
and your glory over all the earth.

7 My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;
I will sing and make melody.

8 Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp;
I myself will waken the dawn.

9 I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD;
I will sing praise to you among the nations.

10 For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

11 Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,
and your glory over all the earth.


Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “We gain strength and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face … [and] we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Fear is something every one of us must face. It affects us all, in different ways, at different times and seasons of our lives. It comes in many shapes and sizes — and disguises. Sometimes it’s that little gnawing creature, nibbling at the corners of our minds, making off with our peace a few crumbling pieces at a time. At others, it’s a monster squatting on our chest, making it impossible for us to breathe.

Some of our fears can be admittedly a bit silly, even ridiculous, totally unreal. Others are terribly real. Some fears are life-threatening — they can literally cost us our lives. Or they can keep us from taking action that would save our lives. Others keep us from living our lives, keep us from doing things we really want or need to do. They rob us of the ability to truly experience life and enjoy life. Some fears keep us from becoming the people we long to be — the people we were meant to be.

When it comes to facing fear, no matter what our feelings tell us, no matter what our circumstances tell us, no matter what the enemy tells us, we are not alone.

We are never alone.

We have a strong and mighty savior, who makes us this precious promise: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

When we are afraid, we can put our trust in him. For as the psalmist reminds us, he is our refuge, the God who saves us, the God who fulfills his purposes for us, the God who sets us free.

Christin Ditchfield Lazo, M.A. (Bible and Theology), is a best-selling author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host, passionate about calling believers to a deeper life of faith.

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The Diocese of Montreal – The Anglican Church of Canada
The Diocese of Springfield


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