Podcast Episode 2 - Fear and Trust

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Welcome to Jen’s New Song

My name is Jennifer Holmes and this is a podcast for those struggling with their mental health.  Whether that means you have bipolar like I do, or you’re struggling with depression, or you’re just going through a difficult season and need some help remembering who God is, this podcast is for you.  

Right now we are working our way through a series on the Psalms and looking at how the psalmists weren’t afraid to tell God exactly how they felt, but at the end of the psalm, they reminded themselves of what they knew to be true about God.  Even if they didn’t feel that way at that moment, they still reminded themselves of the truth.  That’s exactly what I need to do in my life today, and maybe you do too.

My goals for this podcast are for you to feel as though you’re not alone, for us to be able to talk about the hard things, and to be able to honestly cry out to God with our difficult emotions.  But I don’t want us to stay there.  We don’t have to live in defeat.  We can begin to renew our minds through the word of God.

Join me for today’s look at Psalm 56.

Every one of us, at some point in our lives will find ourselves afraid.  Some of us struggle with fear more than others.  Maybe today, like our psalmist, you’re afraid.  And you don’t know what to do next.

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.

They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.

Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

The psalmist here is afraid.  And it would seem that he has good reason to be.  David spent much of his life hiding from his enemies.  Hiding in dark caves, or on the run, or his life being threatened even in the palace.  David knew what it was to fear.

I used to be afraid of many things, but especially the dark.  I could not stay overnight alone - even once I had three children of my own.  When my husband had to be gone overnight, I would pack up all three kids and stay at my mothers.  If he was gone after dark, I would turn on every light in every room I might have a reason to go in, I would turn on the tv, cover myself with blankets, and then pray that I didn’t have to run past the front door in the dark to save my children from any harm.

I’ve gotten a lot better these days.  I no longer have to stay with my mother if my husband is away, and I can even go to bed with the lights off when I’m alone.  But I still fear in other ways.  And maybe you do to?

David is telling God how he feels.  He is just plain afraid.  He is so afraid that God is recording his tears.  This grown man, this mighty man of God is crying with fear.  He is overcome with worry about what the enemy is about to do to him.  But he doesn’t stay there.  He is not content with his fear.

He reminds himself of what he knows.  

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.  

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

What he knows is that God is in control, therefore he doesn’t have to fear.  

Easy to say, not so easy to do.  So he makes a plan.  He is going to praise God in the midst of his fear.  He is going to dwell on God’s word, God’s promises, and he is going to praise.  In spite of the fear. In spite of the fact that he has spent so many hours afraid and worried that God has collected a whole bottle of tears.  He is going to praise anyway.

And I think the key is in the last verse.  For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling?  

He is saying, God, I’m afraid, I’m fearful, and anxious and worried.  But this is what I know.  I have trusted you for my salvation.  And if I can trust you with that, I can trust you with this life down here.  I can trust that you will keep me from falling, that your will is going to be done here.  And because of that, I can praise you.  Even when I’m afraid.

Thank you for joining me today.  If you would like more daily encouragement, follow me on Instagram or Facebook @jensnewsong.  If you hit the subscribe button on your listening app, you won’t miss an episode.  And I’d love it if you’d allow me the privilege to send you a newsletter - it’s full of encouraging articles, the latest news about what’s happening here and on the blog, and it’s one of my favourite places to chat with my listeners and readers.  You can sign up today at jensnewsong.com/join As always, all this information is in the show notes for you.  I wrote this prayer, maybe you would like to adopt it as your own?

Dear God,

It’s hard for me to imagine that You, the God of all the universe, looks down, sees my tears, and loves me so much that You keep a bottle of them.  With a God like that, I know I don’t need to be afraid.  But I confess that, I still am sometimes.  Remind me of the truth that You, the giver of my salvation, can be trusted.  That your promises are true.  That I never need to be afraid.  And remind me that when I am afraid anyway, that I can praise you in spite of the fear.  Thank you for loving me. Amen