Last night instead of blogging, I did some proofreading for my mom. I loved the article/ handout she is doing, and so instead of posting my thoughts, I’m including some of hers!
David was not a casual believer, but one who interacted with God on a daily basis and grew in his understanding of who God is and how God wants to interact with His own. (See also Psalm 18:2 and 144:2.) We who believe the scriptures and have put our trust in the same God David trusted, have the same opportunity to learn, grow, and experience the goodness and sustaining power and grace of the Lord. But just as David grew in his ability to trust, so do we—it doesn’t happen in an instant. Courage and confidence are not personality traits. We “grow in grace” just as every confident believer before us has grown in grace! (2 Peter 3:18) Furthermore, this growth in grace takes place over a lifetime, just as David’s spiritual growth spanned a lifetime.
When we run in fear from all that frightens us and never face our bears and lions in the strength of the Lord, we never learn that God sustains us nor do we grow in courage and confidence or see God’s power when a giant appears. As a result, we do not learn to say with confidence, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4) We cannot say without hesitation, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all,” (Psalm 34:19) nor do we sing with joy, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Fearfulness is a characteristic of normal development of all children to some degree. Understanding and loving parents take the time to discuss their children’s fears, to reassure them, and to patiently help children overcome them. They don’t berate their children or mock them for having a nightmare or expressing a childish fear. Good parents know that in time, their children will mature and learn how to face uncertainty or difficulty with confidence and appropriate responses. They realize that as life becomes more familiar to them and they gain understanding, they will naturally cease to express the typical fears of childhood. Godly parents further equip their children for life by teaching them how to trust in God, how to call to God for help, how to rely upon God for strength and wisdom, and how to find comfort even in the most perplexing or painful situations.
Children who are shielded from every problem and are not taught how to endure hardship by God’s grace are not blessed! Rather, they are spiritually and emotionally handicapped when they are not taught how to pray and trust God, how to see God work in every situation, how to face life’s inevitable difficulties with grace and acceptance, or resolve life’s problems by following God’s instructions. It is our knowledge of God’s presence, our confidence in His promises and our awareness of the realities of His love and acceptance that enable us to grow and conquer fears that are a normal part of our human experience.