Why isn’t life always ‘peaches and cream?’

Why would the Lord leave me with constant background fear? He says he will deliver me from them all.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. [Psalm 34:4]

Usually fears bubble away in the background, even as I pray. It’s only when the fear becomes acute that he delivers me. Maybe, because what is really valuable in life- faith, hope and love are all developed most thoroughly in the presence of challenging circumstances.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. [Psalm 34:5]

This radiance is in the presence of fear. With faith and hope, the presence of fear will not take away joy; there is confidence God will save the day.

Looking to God brings confidence that there will be no shame.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him… [Psalm 34:6-7]

We want to be well off. Yet the Lord hears the call out of poverty.

Who will the poor man fear? those who threaten him, or the Lord? People say, I had no choice. If I hadn’t, terrible things would have happened!  -meaning, I didn’t believe God would rescue.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. [Psalm 34:8]

Let’s wait for God, living out the faith, hope and love -the real treasures of life and see his blessings!

Fear of the Lord

We all look somewhere for blessing, protection or help -people, organisations, wealth, ourselves, … This attitude helps us identify our gods.

Many do whatever it takes to stay within this protection and help. This is an attitude of fear. We may not cower, but we modify our behaviour to maintain protection.

O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord– he is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in the Lord– he is their help and shield. [Psalm 115:10-11NIV]

The one true help and shield is the Lord. To stay protected requires a certain degree of fear. Without the fear of the Lord we give in to our wilful desires or we look elsewhere for protection. Similarly, for blessing,

The Lord remembers us and will bless us: … he will bless those who fear the Lord– small and great alike. [Psalm 115:12-13NIV]

Wherever we look for blessing, we modify behaviour and attitudes to remain blessed. So, we honour the source of blessing. The Lord is the one who truly blesses, but we are tempted by many others.

he does whatever pleases him. [Psalm 115:3NIV]

Many hesitate to go wholeheartedly with God because he does whatever he pleases, not what we please. Yet God is love, so when we adapt to him we begin to truly love. By contrast those who fear other things become like them as they modify their behaviour to maintain protection or blessing, making those things their gods. What do you want to become like? Whom do you fear?