Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Sunday, March 5, 2023 — Evening
By Sarah Elliott
Fasting from Fear
Read: Psalm 27:13-14
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the
living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
In a recent study performed by Penn State*, 91.4% of worry predictions among the cohort of participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) did not come true.
While many of us don’t have GAD, how much of our worry is unwarranted? How does excessive worry take away from our faith in God? David had faith. In the face of his enemies, he was always confident that the Lord would be victorious. Did he worry? Absolutely. In Psalm 3, David displays his fear for the many of his foes. However, he had faith God would deliver him. He waited for the Lord and was victorious. He could have ran and hid when he was afraid, but he had faith. How was his faith so strong?
Why are we fearful? Are we not promised a bright future by God? Like David, we can anticipate victory in the land of the living. God sent his son Jesus who promised to return and take us home to be with him. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,” John 1:17. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
Can I strengthen my faith by fasting from fear? This Lenten season, when I find myself full of worry of things that might happen, I will replace the word fear with faith. I will have active faith that the Lord will deliver me. Active faith is a conscious effort to retrain my brain from focusing on fear to focusing on faith. The fear is likely not to occur, but if it does, God will walk with me and make me victorious.
Most Heavenly Father, replace our fear with faith. Hear our confessions of hope, for we know you will keep your promises. Though our walk in the land of the living is filled with anxiety, grief, and illness, we hold strong to your promise of an eternal walk with you. Guide us with grace and truth in this land of living so our faith can be strengthened and overcome our fears. Amen.