Sumter Pastor Joey Durham: Face your fear with the strength of God


Our devotion today is on this thought, "What Time I Am Afraid," and my text is Psalm 56:3, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." (KJV) The setting of this verse is the time when David was taken by the Philistines in Gath, which caused him to feign madness or pretend he was insane. Fear can affect a person in a terrible way and can cause a person to respond in ways that they otherwise would not. In Psalm 55:5, David reveals this about the circumstances he was experiencing. "Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me." (KJV) Fear brought David to the point that he cried out in verse 6, "And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest." (KJV) Have you ever experienced such fear at some point in your life?

We are living in a day when circumstances in life can paralyze a person with fear. How can we combat this? The key is found in today's text verse, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Great importance is placed upon the ability to trust, or in other words, place "faith" in Jesus Christ. The Psalmist David was a believer, or someone who had placed his faith in God for the salvation of his eternal soul. Because God was his Savior, David could pray and call upon His Name, knowing that God had promised to hear the prayer of the righteous as Psalm 34:15 declares, "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry." (KJV)

Because David knew God as his Savior, he now realizes that he also has the greatest Shepherd anyone could ever have. David knew that a good shepherd always cared for the needs of the sheep, so David states in Psalm 34:3-4, "O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." (KJV)

Because I know Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, as my Lord and Savior, no matter the trouble or the fear that may come my way, God Almighty has His hand of protection and sustaining around me because I belong to Him, and He has gladly taken on the responsibility of caring for the needs of my soul and my life.

Jesus Christ has the power to keep any fear or trouble from coming to any of His children, but many times, the sweetest fellowship a believer can have with their Savior is when fear comes and we experience the strength of God to not only face the fear, but defeat it altogether! No wonder David confidently states in Psalm 23:1: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." (KJV)

If you're not saved, go to Jesus Christ and trust Him, and He will destroy the fear of being separated from God in Hell. Ephesians 2:8 gives us these wonderful words, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (KJV)

Joey Durham is pastor at Open Bible Baptist Church at 180 Old Manning Road in Sumter. You can contact Pastor Durham at or call the church office at (803) 481-9315.